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Friday, March 31, 2023

Bloody balance of narcissistic obsession with exotic animals

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – Mexican drug smugglers’ fascination with exotic animals was on full display this week when a spider monkey dressed as a cartel pet was killed in a shootout, a 450-pound tiger on the streets of Nayarit state. , and a man died while trying to domesticate a captive tiger in a cartel-dominated area in the state of Michoacán.

Like scenes from a TV drug series, exotic animals have long been a part of the Mexican underworld.

Photos from the scene of a shootout with police on Tuesday, in which 11 gang members were killed, showed a small monkey – wearing a camouflage jacket and “bulletproof” vest – hovering over the body of a gunman, which he was considered the owner.

Officials in the state of Mexico confirmed the authenticity of the photos and said it was not clear whether the monkey – who was also wearing a diaper – was killed in the shootout that killed its owner.

“A primate lost its life at the scene, possibly the property of an alleged perpetrator, who also died during the same incident,” prosecutors said in a statement. “The autopsy of the animal will be performed by a veterinarian specializing in the species,” he said, and allegations of animal trafficking are being studied against the suspects who survived the shooting.

Well, the monkey had its own “corrido,” a Mexican folk ballad often composed in honor of drug lords.

On Wednesday, the federal attorney for environmental protection said it had seized a tiger at Tekuala in Nayarit state, on the Pacific Coast, near the border with Sinaloa, the base of the cartel of the same name.

The office said it took action “in response to reports of a Bengal tiger walking the streets of Tekuala” and concluded that someone had illegally kept the animal.

Those reports were based on a video posted on social media this week that showed a young woman screaming as she collided with a tiger on a residential road.

Officials said the tiger’s fangs and claws were removed, and a man could later be seen putting a noose around the cat’s neck and carrying it with him.

Perhaps the saddest story takes place in the west of the country in Michoacán, which has been dominated for years by the United Cartel and the Jalisco Cartel.

On Sunday, officials confirmed that a man was killed by a tiger in Periban, a town in the state’s avocado region where gangs demand payment from the profitable avocado trade.

In a video on social media, whose authenticity could not be verified, the man calls the tiger to the enclosure. The man stands outside the enclosure, apparently feeding her with one hand, while reaching through the fence to stroke her neck with the other.

The man screams in pain as the tiger moves around and bites his outstretched arm. Eventually the tiger injured both his hands.

State officials confirmed that the man died in hospital a few days later.

Mexican law allows private citizens to keep exotic animals, as long as they register them under strictly supervised conditions. But security analyst David Saucedo said criminals sometimes get those permissions.

Saucedo says drug traffickers often hold exotic animals as symbols of power and status, imitating Colombian drug traffickers of the 1980s and 1990s.

“Mexican drug smugglers imitated the Medellin cartel’s custom of receiving exotic animals from drug smugglers and setting up private zoos,” he said.

“According to the elite code of drug traffickers, having a private zoo was a prerequisite for being part of a select circle of wholesale drug traffickers,” he said.

In some cases, animals were kept for more sinister use.

“Some drug owners, such as Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano, acquired alien creatures to torture or make their victims disappear,” Socedo said. “Many of his enemies were eaten by the tigers or crocodiles that Zeta had in his hatcheries and dens.”

In 2012, Lajcano was killed in a shootout with Mexican soldiers.

World Nation News Desk
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