MEXICO CITY — When it comes to gore, Mexico’s drug traffickers seem to compete among themselves for the title of most depraved. One will chop off the heads of victims. Another will string dead rivals from bridges or torch their genitals. Recently, hit men removed the face from a dead man and sewed it onto a soccer ball.
On Tuesday, Mexican authorities announced the capture of one of those who they said had been active in this game of one upsmanship, Teodoro Eduardo Garcia Simental, described as a ruthless drug lord based just south of the American border in Tijuana. Mr. Garcia’s trademark… was boiling rivals in barrels of lye in what has become known as Pozole, for the Mexican stew, the authorities said.
Last January, the army grabbed Santiago Meza Lopez, who told authorities that he had been Mr. Garcia’s “Pozolero,” the one responsible for destroying hundreds of murder victims for Mr. Garcia in giant vats of caustic solution. In March, soldiers arrested Jacome Gamboa, who was considered one of Mr. Garcia’s top enforcers. Then, on Tuesday, Mr. Garcia himself fell in an early morning raid at his vacation home that federal officials said came after five months of investigation. – NY Times
Wait! Let’s go back to the guy who had his face peeled off and saved on the soccer ball! Score! Goal! Goooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllll!! Highlights at 11 with Howie, Jimmy, Terry, Stinky, and Boo-boo.
Wonder what would happen if on my next drunken carouse through Tijuana I sign the hotel register “L. Pozole”? Think I’d get half-way through the Reposado bottle before I had company? Hey, guys, I was just joking! Here, have a drink!
The fact is, I’ll probably never get back to Tijuana, Northern Mexico has become so dangerous, so lawless, so unbelievably corrupt that it makes Afghanistan look enlightened. There were 6,500 drug-related killings in 2009. Last Saturday – one day only — there were 69 killings — 26 in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, 13 in and around Mexico City and 10 in the northern city of Chihuahua. Even Truly Nolen isn’t that prolific.
Numbers aside, the creative brutality exhibited by the warring gangs of narcos is as compelling and horrific as a slow-motion train wreck. You have to wonder: do they get their ideas from video games, or is the other ‘way ‘round? Even a brain-addled Hollywood writer would have trouble concocting the soccer-ball gambit, or fresh human pozole with cilantro and lime. But these guys think it up, carry it out, and get it down pat during down time between their drug smuggling regimens.
I guess this will wind down only when everybody’s maimed or dead, sort of a societal devolution, rather like what happened in Detroit and Newark. Eventually, even the vultures fly off and find more nourishing prey. Not the rosiest outlook, but it beats a bowl of pozole, especially from the ingredients’ perspective.