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NYT: She Stalked Her Daughter’s Killers Across Mexico, One by One

Cover: Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

NYT: She Stalked Her Daughter’s Killers Across Mexico, One by One
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A piece published this morning from Azam Ahmed talks about a mothers journey to find the people who kidnapped her daughter. Then detailing a similar kidnapping case that happened in 2019 involving a teenage boy. In both cases social media was involved. The mother turned into a "social media sleuth" and used it to investigate the kidnapping. Collecting evidence that she then turned over for authorities to investigate. In the other case, fake Facebook profiles of girls his age were used to cat-fish the boy into meeting somewhere public. They did this for weeks before eventually he agreed.

The effectiveness in hunting her daughter's kidnappers is a surprising contrast to what law enforcement does. Highlighting that the problem is not necessarily incapability of the state, the state is obviously more capable than a single person, but more so corruption. Law enforcement and officials operating in the gray zone corrupt any sort of productive process to bring about investigation and thus justice.

A follow-up article should look at why San Fernando authorities have become corrupted to a point of doing the exact opposite of what their job entails.

SAN FERNANDO, Mexico — Miriam Rodríguez clutched a pistol in her purse as she ran past the morning crowds on the bridge to Texas. She stopped every few minutes to catch her breath and study the photo of her next target: the florist.

She had been hunting him for a year, stalking him online, interrogating the criminals he worked with, even befriending unwitting relatives for tips on his whereabouts. Now she finally had one — a widow called to tell her that he was peddling flowers on the border.

Ever since 2014, she had been tracking the people responsible for the kidnapping and murder of her 20-year-old daughter, Karen. Half of them were already in prison, not because the authorities had cracked the case, but because she had pursued them on her own, with a meticulous abandon.

She cut her hair, dyed it and disguised herself as a pollster, a health worker and an election official to get their names and addresses. She invented excuses to meet their families, unsuspecting grandmothers and cousins who gave her details, however small. She wrote everything down and stuffed it into her black computer bag, building her investigation and tracking them down, one by one.

She knew their habits, friends, hometowns, childhoods. She knew the florist had sold flowers on the street before joining the Zeta cartel and getting involved in her daughter’s kidnapping. Now he was on the run and back to what he knew, selling roses to make ends meet.

Without showering, she threw a trench coat over her pajamas, a baseball cap over her fire engine-red hair and a gun in her purse, heading for the border to find the florist. On the bridge, she scoured the vendors for flower carts, but that day he was selling sunglasses instead. When she finally found him, she got too excited, and too close. He recognized her and ran.

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