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A third migrant said to survive massacre, as bodies return home

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Now, a third migrant is said to have survived last month’s massacre in Tamaulipas, Mexico. El Salvador’s president, Mauricio Funes, asserted Sunday -- almost two weeks after the killings took place -- that one Salvadoran citizen survived and is in the U.S.

Funes gave no further details, and it is not clear how the Salvadoran survived or made it to the U.S. Late Monday, however, the Mexican government expressed doubts about the existence of a third survivor, saying officials would check out the story but that there was no corroborating evidence at this point of another survivor.

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Alejandro Poire, the Mexican government’s security spokesman, also said a Mexican is under arrest on suspicion of involvement in the massacre, and three bodies found on a road Aug. 30 are believed to be men who participated.

The massacre has reverberated across Latin America. Confirmed victims include citizens of Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador and El Salvador. Reporting from the home village of one of the Salvadoran victims, a 15-year-old girl, Times special correspondent Alex Renderos says that a majority of children in school there have parents living in a U.S. city.

‘There are sons and daughters living alone here, taken care of only by their grandparents,’ a school teacher told Renderos. ‘And the parents want to hug their daughters and sons and give them a better life.’

In this video report by La Prensa Grafica, Funes is shown addressing officials and mourners during a ceremony at a hangar to receive the bodies of 11 of the Salvadoran victims (link in Spanish). The gray caskets are seen driven through streets where passers-by stopped to weep. El Mundo published the names of 10 Salvadorans identified so far (link in Spanish). Their ages run between 22 and 55. Three are women.

The number of Central and South Americans taking the treacherous path through Mexico to reach the United States has taken a drop in recent years, The Times reports. Yet Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission estimates that 1,600 migrants are kidnapped in Mexico each month. The story adds: ‘In El Salvador and other countries from which the victims came, the massacre has raised another dark question: How many others have met the same fate, but were never found?’

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City


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