You can count on the Mexican drug cartels to constantly raise the bar in terms of offensiveness, carnage, and cojones. These guys are no-nonsense killers, using methods that remind us of Al Queda. Here are ten disturbing stories from the ongoing Mexican drug war against the cartels.
10 12 Headless Bodies
Chopping off heads seems to be a favorite pastime for these guys. It happens so often that it should just be considered SOP now. Two of the big stories related to lost heads involve incidents resulting in 12 corpses (sans heads).
In August, 2008, 12 decapitated corpses were discovered in the Yucatan peninsula. 11 of them were found near the city of Merida, bearing signs of torture. A 12th body was found later about 120 miles south. The bodies were handcuffed, marked with star signs and tattooed with the letter Z. Some of the bodies were nude.
Merida is often used as a tourist gateway to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. The “Z” tattoo refers to Los Zetas, a cartel composed of – get this – Mexican Army deserters, ex-federal, state, and local police officers. These are highly trained mercs. Formerly partnered up with the Gulf Cartel, the two groups are now enemies. Led by Heriberto “El Lazca” Lazcano, Los Zetas are said to be the most technologically advanced, sophisticated and violent of the cartels.
In December, 2008, 12 more bodies were found – without heads. Some of them were soldiers. Nine corpses were spread along the length of a major boulevard in the state capital, Chilpancingo, with a sign reading “for every one of mine that you kill, I will kill 10.” Nine heads were found in a bag nearby. 3 more headless bodies were found later.
9 Killing Cops… and Their Entire Friggin Families
Two disturbing stories here:
In February 2009, gunmen in Tabasco (southeastern Mexico) opened fire on the homes of state police officer Carlos Reyes Lopez and his extended family, killing 12 people, including a 2-year-old and five other children. One of the unfortunate victims was just a dude who was delivering some strawberries. It was speculated that the killings were in retaliation for the arrest of some gunmen days earlier; others suggest there was some kind of personal dispute. “They killed my brother Carlos, his whole family, my son, my mother. . . . They killed everyone,” said a sobbing survivor identified as Lopez’ sister and mother of the 2-year-old.
Hours after the burial of a marine who died in a raid that killed drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva, gunmen burst into his home and killed family members.
Killed during a raid that ended the life of a Leyva, Melquisedet Angulo Cordova was ushered to his grave by an honor guard of commandos in camouflage, his mother awarded a folded flag. Hours later, the grieving mother, the marine’s sister, his brother and an aunt were mowed down by gunmen in a revenge attack.
Prosecutors in Tabasco said the gunmen converged on the family home in at least three vehicles shortly after midnight. They burst into the small residence where the family slept and opened fire. The mother, Irma Cordova, 48, was killed by a single gunshot. Angulo’s sister Yolidabey, 22, was hit by seven bullets; the aunt, Josefa Angulo, 46, by 10. A 28-year-old brother, Benito, was shot once and died later at a hospital. Nearly three dozen spent bullet casings were found in the house. The killing, especially, of a mother, seemed to violate the most basic code of conduct that even coldblooded hit men and traffickers obeyed.
Marcos Arturo Beltran Leyva was the leader of the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel, which is also headed by his brothers: Mario Alberto, Carlos (captured), Alfredo (captured), and Héctor. Beltran Leyva had split with the Sinaloa cartel and allied with the Zetas.
8 Shootouts in Acapulco
A weekend shootout left 18 gunmen and soldiers dead in Acapulco. Roughly 3,000 shots were fired and 50 grenades were thrown.
The four-hour gunfight Saturday night took place in a seaside neighborhood of homes and cut-rate hotels, mainly frequented by Mexicans and several miles from the main strip of tourist complexes. Soldiers later recovered 49 rifles and handguns, 13 grenades, two grenade launchers and more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition.
In March, 13 people were also killed around the beach resort of Acapulco.
Lots of college kids go to Acapulco for spring break. That will probably change. Plenty of other beaches in the world, after all.
7 18 Killed In Substance Abuse Clinic In Juarez
In September 2009, gunmen stormed into a drug treatment clinic in northern Mexico, lined patients up against a wall and killed 18 of them.
The Ciudad Juarez clinic, a converted house called El Aliviane, sits in a neighborhood next to the border that is plagued by gangs, prostitution and drug use. Victor Valencia, public security secretary for the state of Chihuahua, said 20 people were in a meeting room when the attackers burst in. The gunmen ushered them into a central patio and opened fire with AK-47 assault rifles, he said. Investigators found at least 80 spent casings.
El Diario newspaper reported that a number of the dead were members of a gang called the Aztecas. Alberto Islas, a Mexico City-based security specialist, theorized that the slayings were in retaliation for a weekend shooting that killed eight people at a street party in the neighboring state of Sinaloa. Drug clinics in Juarez have been hit before with traffickers accusing them of protecting dealers from rival gangs. Cartel members who know they are on a hit list are understood to use such facilities as a safe hiding place.
6 Group of High Schoolers Assasinated At Party
In Feb 2010, 16 people are killed in Ciudad Juarez during a party in a private home. High school students and others were at a private home celebrating a school soccer victory when armed men rolled up in seven vehicles and opened fire. At least eight of the dead were younger than 20, officials said. The youngest confirmed victim was 13.
Officials said the dead were scattered across three adjacent homes. Ciudad Juarez has been the most violent corner in Mexico during the last two years, with more than 3,700 people slain as two drug gangs have waged a ferocious battle for control of the important cross-border smuggling passage into nearby El Paso.
The motive for the party massacre is unkonwn. The mayor of Juarez said that there was no evidence suggesting any of the teens were connected to the drug gangs. However, El Diario, a daily newspaper in Ciudad Juarez, reported on its website that one of the slain teens was a witness in a multiple homicide.
5 Americans killed in Mexico shootings
Deaths of US Consulate Employees
More deaths in Ciudad Juarez, a place where you just shouldn’t go for vacation. This time, it involves 3 people connected to the U.S. Consulate who were returning from a kid’s birthday party. They were shot to death in their cars (source)
Two of the dead – an American couple – had a baby in the back seat (fortunately, the baby was unharmed). The three victims were killed in broad daylight near the city’s border with El Paso, Texas.
This story is notable because it’s the first time the drug gangs have attacked U.S. diplomatic personnel. The dead couple were identified as Lesley A. Enriquez, 35, an employee of the consulate, and her husband, Arthur H. Redelfs, 34. Redelfs was a detention officer with the El Paso County Jail. The third person killed was identified as the husband of a Mexican employee of the consulate. He was traveling with two children, both of whom were injured.
No motives found. It is believe to be an attack by either the Aztecs or the Linea gangs.
4 Girlfriend Murders
Drug lords’ girlfriends tend to be hot, but sometimes the girlfriends will mess up. You know – looking at another guy across the bar, for example. That’s just enough to set off these psychopaths. If you want to see what happens, you can go to a website called “Best Gore” (bestgore.com – Warning: Extremely Graphic) Trust us, though – you don’t want to go there. One of the narco girlfriends had her limbs cut off. It’s nasty.
Narco Girlfriend Murder
Kidnappings are big. They don’t need to happen in Mexico, either. Take this story out of San Diego:
The Palillos – a Mexican gang related to the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix drug cartel, moved across the border in 2002 and posed as U.S. law enforcement, donning FBI and police uniforms and caps while snatching victims outside homes and public places. Nine victims were killed from 2004 to 2007, and the bodies of two of them were dissolved in chemicals at a San Diego house.
Gang members were also charged with trying to murder a Chula Vista police officer in September 2005, peppering his car with high-caliber bullets before fleeing in a car. Police started getting chilling reports of criminals using tactics typically seen only on the streets of Tijuana: Men dressed in police uniforms and bullet-proof vests snatching victims in daylight and throwing them into cars before speeding off into traffic. Bodies bearing signs of torture were dumped. The crimes haunted residents in such suburbs as Chula Vista and Bonita, where many prominent Tijuana families had moved to escape violence only to find that criminals had followed and blended into the cookie-cutter anonymity of American suburbia. The veteran gang prosecutor leading the case, Deputy Dist. Atty. Mark Amador, said the gang was the most vicious he’s ever prosecuted. “I’ve never seen a more ruthless, cold-blooded, sociopathic group,” he said.
Gunmen storm Mexican hotels, kidnapping guests:
Dozens of gunmen burst into two hotels in Monterrey (including a Holiday Inn) and abducted at least 6 people.
Kidnappings were happening quite a bit in Tijuana a few years ago. This poor guy didn’t survive his abduction, while this girl got lucky. Well, as lucky as somebody who is handcuffed, gagged, beaten, and thrown in a closet can be.
2 Raid on Drug Dealer’s House Nets $205 million
Snopes confirms what the DEA called the largest drug raid in history.
The money found hidden inside walls, suitcases and closets in one of Mexico City’s wealthiest neighborhoods came from the profits of methamphetamines sold in the U.S. Mexican federal agents also seized eight luxury vehicles, seven weapons and a pill-making machine during the raid in Lomas de Chapultepec, a neighborhood of walled compounds that is home to ambassadors and business magnates. Seven people were arrested and were ordered Monday to be held for three months while the investigation continues. In addition to the dollars, officials found 200,000 euros and 157,500 pesos.
1 Mexico Cartel Stitches Rival’s Face On Soccer Ball
The body of Hugo Hernandez was left on the streets of Los Mochis in seven pieces as a chilling threat to members of the Juarez drug cartel. A note read: “Happy New Year, because this will be your last.” To add insult to injury, they skinned Hernandez’s face off and stitched it onto a soccer ball. Yes, you read that right.
Hernandez was kidnapped and brought to Sinaloa. They found his torso in a container, and the rest of his parts in another. The soccer ball with his face on it was placed in a bag and left near City Hall.
Unbelievable, but true. Thousands of people are dead from the Mexican drug war, and nobody is safe – not mayors, not police, not the army, not women or their children.
Good luck, Mexico. You’re gonna need it.