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Here’s an entertaining/instructional cellphone video that shows one of the Zetas’ more preferred torture methods in action. It is called the tablazo. I wrote about it a few months back:

It comes from the word “tabla,” or “board.” The kidnappers usually have this specially crafted wooden board, a two-by-four with a handle for grip and holes drilled into the main body for less wind resistance. They drop your trousers, bend you over and hit you continuously with the wooden board till your ass turns to purple mush and you are left looking like some diseased red-assed baboon. (The cops here like to use the tablazo, too.)


Posted: March 31st, 2009

El Canicon

MONTERREY, MEXICO — I woke up the other day and started the morning off just like I do every normal day: by sitting on a bench in my front yard, reading the newspaper and toking. There’s a saying in Mexico that goes: “Un churro al dia es la llave de la alegria,” which roughly translates to: “one joint per day is the key to happiness.” It’s supposed to rhyme and all that, but the poetry got lost in the translation.

Well, I was doing that when, suddenly, one of my friends calls me on my NexTel and says: “Hey, you heard who they caught?” and before I could guess that it was the son of “El Mayo” Zambada in Mexico City, he blurts out: “They grabbed El Canicon cabron!” (more…)

Posted: March 24th, 2009


It’s getting hot here in Monterrey, and if you’ve been reading my column lately, you know I’m not talking about the weather.

Remember about the surge of military presence in the state I wrote about? Well I got to witness it first-hand and it’s not pretty. It’s one thing to see Army convoys driving around town, but it’s a whole other, much scarier, thing to see them on foot patrol right in your neighborhood, making rounds past your house, questioning your neighbors. (more…)

Posted: March 6th, 2009


I saw that the US government posted an “extreme warning” travel advisory about Mexico last week and wanted to weigh in on the bullshit.

If you’re traveling to Culiacan or Acapulco, or any major Mexican city for that matter, you have to expect to see some fireworks. It’s like watching a volcano eruption in one of those yuppie-eco-tourism-shit-vacation-type trips some of you drug-taking progressives in America like to take. So when you see it you can’t help but stare in awe. (more…)

Posted: February 26th, 2009

This is a video of shootout that happened a few days ago (the same day the international bridge into America was blocked in Reynosa), that Yasha Levine sent along, asking me to decipher what the hell is going on. Well, let me tell you that this is some great stuff. I hadn’t seen this particular video myself until he sent it along, but I definitely did hear about the gun battle it captured so beautifully. How could I not? Up to 10 people were killed in shootout that lasted something like three hours. (more…)

Posted: February 23rd, 2009

MONTERREY, MEXICO — I was in the middle of writing about a badass Colombian drug trafficker who’s taking over huge swaths of Mexico when convoy of green Army trucks fully packed with G3-carrying soldiers rolled through my hometown of Monterrey — and stopped. If there’s one firearm that can intimidate a narco, it’s gotta be a powerful long-round rifle like the G3. There was not doubt about it, the soldiers were hunting druggers. (more…)

Posted: February 18th, 2009

MONTERREY, MEXICO — Kidnapping and Mexico, they go together like beans and rice. There has always been a kidnapping industry in Mexico. It’s not for nothing that we have become the kidnapping capital of the world. Yep, that’s a true, fun fact.

The most basic kidnapping operations are the cells dedicated to kidnapping wealthy individuals or their family members and demanding that people pay a nice fat ransom in exchange. When I was a kid, the country went into a lolla-kidnapping-palooza. In every state you heard about kidnapping gangs, usually colluding with the cops. (more…)

Posted: February 3rd, 2009