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The Mexican Drug War / May 18, 2011

The eXiled’s special Drug War Correspondent

MONTERREY, NUEVO LEÓN–I just learned that a friend of mine got his human rights violated by the Mexican army, when he was grabbed off the street by a couple of soldiers, thrown into some dirty room, tied to a chair, stripped of his clothes and interrogated with the help of a friendly blowtorch. The soldiers waved the flame close enough to his naked torso that, by the time they were through, it looked like a blackened rack of BBQed ribs. All that was missing was the BBQ sauce.

It’s scary story, particularly because they had the wrong guy. The army was looking for a cop-killer sicario, and my buddy–let’s call him Jose–fit the description. Yet what really shocked me was that my friend was not buried in some shallow unmarked grave in the desert outside Monterrey, but was alive and well enough to tell the story.

Here’s what happened: Jose was tooling around town on his truck, when he was swarmed and detained by a small detachment of soldiers. They kidnapped him for an about hour, kicked him around, burned him a little and, when they realized they had fucked up and were torturing an innocent man, let Jose go with an apology. They were even kind enough to give him back his truck and belongings.

Jose got lucky, and he knows it. For the most part Mexican soldiers tip the scale in the general direction of “shoot now, disappear the body later.”

I know you Americans are supposedly big on human rights and really really care about those poor Guantanamo detainees, but unfortunately human rights violations like this are necessary to combat the cells of sicarios in the city, be they of the Gulf Cartel or the Zetas. And that’s pretty much what most people in Mexico believe. Even Jose. He’s not interested in pressing charges against the army. He’s not really mad and actually happy that the soldiers decided to capture him.

Thing is, the army likes to shoot sicarios on sight, but I guess this time they wanted to avoid unnecessary paperwork. The Mexican army just had an embarrassing fuck up the past month when during a shootout with a cell of sicarios they killed the innocent occupant of a red pickup—a guy named Otilio Cantu—and upon realizing their mistake, planted a rifle on him to pass him off as a sicario. In their defense, if you have a pickup or SUV you’re pretty much asking for a few loose bullets around these parts. But Otilio’s parents campaigned to clear their son’s name and this resulted in the detention of at least 7 soldiers and their Officer.

My friend’s unfortunate detention alerted me to an interesting development. Soliders and cops have traditionally been at odds with each other, but now it looks as if the army is taking the police under its wing campaign to wrestle the grip of the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel on local metropolitan police forces.

The local police force has gone through a huge shakeup lately. In early April, an army colonel took charge as the Public Security Secretary of Guadalupe, causing over 100 resignations from the force, including eight police commanders/chiefs who resigned ”voluntarily”. As they fight it out for the total control of the plaza,  the Gulf Cartel and Zetas have also recently started turning up the pressure on local police. Cartels have been increasing their attacks on cops in order to terrorize and bully them into collaboration. That means the cops are stuck in the middle of a three-way clusterfuck: they’re fucked if they’re corrupt, and fucked if they’re not.

Looks like the colonel may be using his contacts with the army to gain the trust of the police, giving it protection in the hopes of pulling them out of abusive relationships with the cartels. My friend’s case is a clear example: He was detained because they mistook him for a sicario that was involved in the recent killings of police and transit officers.

Pancho Montana is the eXiled Online’s Special Mexican War on Drugs Correspondent.

As a native of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, located in northern Mexico, Mr. Montana lives in Gulf Cartel territory. That means the streets belong to the Zetas, a paramilitary organization trained by the Yankees and hired by the Gulf Cartel to keep things civilized and business booming. Although it could be that the Zetas won’t be around for long…

Read more of his stuff…

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Add your own

  • 1. Pascual Gorostieta  |  May 18th, 2011 at 1:56 pm is reporting that vigilante groups are being organized. They showed up on the scene a few weeks and killed two guys; I think they had something to do with the murder of 6 or 7 street dealers in suburban Monterrey as well. I also read how some civilians in the state of SLP ran out bunch of Zetas. I think the question is who is backing these groups. I heard rumors that the CDG was arming some civilians in hopes that they go after zetas. Having both family in Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas.

    Great article and as a norteño a tip of my hat at you sir. That and the Exiled will most certainly be getting a donation from me.

  • 2. Scarface  |  May 18th, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Say hello to my little friend!!!

  • 3. rick  |  May 18th, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Yup there’s only one way to deal with these assholes and it’s not going to make too many progressives happy. If it weren’t for Los Pepes, Escobar would have been around for a lot longer terrorizing Medellín, so if a blowtorch needs to come out now and then so be it.

  • 4. pmx?  |  May 18th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Los Pepes were financed by the Orejuela Brothers of the Cali Cartel, so the CDG arming civilian death squads isnt too far fetched.
    They already killed some halcones the other day nearby the Loma Larga tunnel.

  • 5. fuck hipster douchebags  |  May 18th, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    good to see the exiled promoting fascistic garbage about the imaginary “war on drugs”.
    In the real world the army, the police and the cartels are the SAME FUCKING THING.
    Eat shit and die Mr.Montana.

  • 6. Jose Malverde - "El Santo"  |  May 18th, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Whaddup, esses? Mis amigos y vecinos del norte, yo vengo a tu barrio. Forget about the fuckin Zetas, Beltrán Leyva, La Familia, Gulf, Juárez, Los Negros, Sinaloa, and TJ posses. Pridy soon you will face me and mi nuevo compañero, Señor bin Laden. He meking un gran regreso, a combacks. We call him Nariguto, Big Nose. He is now el agente de Malverde colección. You kno, my collecion agent?

    First, a little surgery plastico, no? By la Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, Nariguto going to looks like Michael Jekson, but with beerd. Maybe we call him un cabrón sin nariz, a noseless cocksucker.

    Cuente los días, América del Norte. Estamos llegando.

  • 7. NoImportaNada  |  May 19th, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Damn, what took so long for you to post an article? I thought that you were buried somewhere in the outskirts of Monterrey. The important thing is that you are back. Also, have you been up to date on La Selecion? I fucking laughed when Monarcas beat Pumas. Anyways, you need to stop dissapearing like that. Getting a daily fix of WN isn’t happening anymore and you going off and dissapearing isn’t helping either.

    Anyways, if you have time, can you do a report on Michoacan? Ever since La Familia “disbanded” and Los Caballeros Templarios showed up, there was an information blackout(for me). I am planning on going to Michoacan in the last few days of this month or next month, so I can find out what the fuck is going on over there. So if you need anything just tell me.

  • 8. wengler  |  May 19th, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Mexico needs to formally legalize all drugs and start dumping it on the US market.

  • 9. Eye  |  May 19th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    “so if a blowtorch needs to come out now and then so be it.”

    Yes, but as happened to poor Jose, the tortured could be YOU. And from my safe and confortable house in Europe, should I think “so be it”?

    Torturing random people worked so well in Algeria for the French, BTW…

  • 10. lcl  |  May 19th, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Fascist arm-chair quarter-backing at it’s finest. Torture is the only way to handle the drug wars… how about rational harm-reduction drug laws in purchasing companies combined with a social justice based end to Colombia’s civil war?

  • 11. Dimitri Ratz  |  May 19th, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Hi, I’m just another pussy who never went anywhere interesting, never wrote much, never did much. That’s why I’m probably not going to donate. Because I’m like my dad, the Kiwanis club miser who likes to think he matters but never did.

  • 12. Dejo  |  May 19th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Far be it from me to suggest that torturing semi-literate thugs is not a good way to put an end to a sophisticated national crime syndicate but has the Mexican government tried undercutting the drug cartels?

  • 13. kurt  |  May 19th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    @ ICI..i think he was being ironical here…’I know you Americans are supposedly big on human rights and really really care about those poor Guantanamo detainees’…think the average American gives a crap about the guys at Guantanamo?

  • 14. wisdom  |  May 19th, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Wengler @ #8 has the solution, but nobody in power wants a solution.

    Still, it’s quite the dream, ain’t it? The cartels would dry up right quick, and the U.S. would have to at least partially loosen things up on their side of the border. Then the E.U. would have to follow suit so the dang Americans wouldn’t out-liberal them.

    Never going to happen, though. It’d mean that a whole bunch of thugs and federales would have to learn how to work for a living!

  • 15. Dimitri Ratz  |  May 21st, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Thank God! My mom taught me to give bums a tuna sandwich.

  • 16. 16 Shells from a 30.06  |  May 22nd, 2011 at 10:04 am

  • 17. Zane Swanson  |  May 23rd, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Ummm… Ya that’s shitty about your friend. But didn’t something much more horrible happen in your ‘beat’ & not even a mention? Over 170 corpes found to be victims of the bus roundups! ???

  • 18. Tyler Bass  |  May 24th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Legalization is the answer here, Pancho.

  • 19. Jose Malverde - "El Santo"  |  May 25th, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Dju see eet? Mi nuevo compañero, Señor bin Laden, yoost mek hees forst customer call.×330.jpg

    Good staff work ees muy importante. El cabrón sin nariz, the noseless cocksucker Señor bin Laden, ees already singing narco ‘rolas’ like

    We see dju soon at una iglesia cerca de usted. S

    Ciao, esses! Ciao.

  • 20. Jose  |  June 26th, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Do you have any reports on Piedras Negras? or on “Los Negros”

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