A few months ago, a Mexican friend of mine – she’s legal, in case you’re wondering – told me she had to go back to Mexico unexpectedly to make sure her sister and mother were safe.
She explained that her sister had started a food cart business that was becoming very popular, too popular apparently. Some thugs knew she was making money and wanted half of it. If she didn’t pay, they said they would torture her and kill her mother. So she closed down her modest food cart business. At the time, my friend’s sister was seeing an architectural student at the university.
A few weeks later, he was beheaded.
We shouldn’t be surprised. Since 2007, more than 100,000 people have been killed violently because of drugs and organized crime. Mexico’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, has tried to focus attention on economic growth and away from the drug cartels. But a recent act of violence so horrific has galvanized the country and changed that focus dramatically.
Six weeks after 43 trainee teachers went missing in the small town of Iguala, three hit men working for the Guerreros Unidos drug cartel told authorities how they were killed.
The Telegraph reported, “Agustín García Reyes knew exactly what he was doing as he descended the steep dirt track to the bottom of the rubbish dump in the woods.
“With a group of some 30 youngsters sliding down the slope before him, into the dark hole deep in the Mexican countryside, the man nicknamed El Chereje – which roughly translates as ‘The Damned Heretic’ – ordered them to stop and face him.
“‘I asked them why they had come to Iguala, and they said they had come for the mayor's wife,’ García said. He ordered that their hands be tied behind their heads, and that they look not at his face, but at the ground. Then he ordered his men to shoot. ‘I made them stand in the rubbish, and I said to them: 'So what do you say to this?' And then they were shot.’"
The perpetrators, aided and abetted by dirty cops who were in the pocket of the cartel, incinerated the bodies and every trace of evidence.
Attorney General Jesus Murillo said 74 people, including dozens of police, are being held. He also said after the burning the remains were ground up – making it even more difficult to identify victims.
“Teeth of victims found at the scene were so badly burned that they virtually turned to dust upon contact,” Murillo said, adding that the remains would be sent to the University of Innsbruck in Austria for final DNA identification.
Today, Murillo said, “I’ve had enough,” a gaffe that went viral in Mexico and prompted protesters to spray paint the phrase on the entrance of the AG’s office. One tweet juxtaposed a picture of Murillo stamped with his refrain, next to a photo of President Enrique Pena Nieto emblazoned with the phrase: "I’m off to China."
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