A fearless mother whose daughter was killed by a drug cartel spent five years stalking and hunting them down in a dangerous mission.
Miriam Elizabeth Rodriguez Martinez from Mexico became one of the country’s bravest activists for missing children after her daughter Karen Alejandra Salinas Rodriguez disappeared in 2012.
According to reports, 20-year-old Karen was taken by a group of Los Zeta Cartel members on January 23, 2012.
The kidnappers demanded thousands of dollars in exchange for Karen’s return but even though the family complied, their daughter was killed and her body remains were discovered in 2014.
Miriam decided to take matters into her own hands by pursuing her child’s abductors in a five-year mission.
Using fake identifications, a fake handgun, and various disguises, she located and questioned the members of the Los Zetas cartel.
One of her targets was a florist and after knowing his whereabouts, she located the man near the Mexican-US border.
The man immediately recognized her and tried to run away but the 56-year-old fearless mother caught up to him. “If you move, I’ll shoot you,” she reportedly said.
Miriam detained the cartel member for about thirty minutes until police officers arrived to arrest him.
The mother managed to take down at least ten members of Los Zeta Cartel, one of the most violent and dangerous in the country.
At one point, Miriam questioned one of the men, who insisted that they did not have her daughter but offered to give information for $2,000.
While pleading with him for her daughter’s release, a person named Sama called him on the radio.
Miriam then searched social media for hours until she found a picture of Sama next to a woman working in an ice cream shop.
Wearing an old uniform from her old job, the mother stalked the store for weeks and waited for Sama to show up. When he finally arrived, she followed the two to their home and wrote down their address.
But by the time an arrest warrant was issued, their target had already left town.
In 2014, Miriam’s son spotted Sama and immediately called the police. The cartel member eventually shared details about Karen’s murder, including the locations and names of his accomplices.
Miriam was shot 12 times outside of her home on Mother’s Day in 2017. She is now regarded as a heroine in their city.
One officer who had assisted the fearless mother in her mission said the files of her investigation was nothing like he had ever seen.
“The details and information gathered by this woman, working all alone, were incredible,” he told the New York Times post.
“She had gone to every single level of government and they had slammed the door in her face,” he added. “To help her hunt down the people who took her daughter — it was the greatest privilege of my career.”
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