Monday, January 23, 2012

U.S. decapitations may be the handiwork of Mexican drug cartels, says news report

El Universal says that Hollywood case has hallmarks of Latin drug gang execution

*Update below*
On January 17 some people walking dogs in the hills above Los Angeles, close to the famous Hollywood sign, stumbled upon a severed human head inside a plastic bag. Authorities who responded to the scene with cadaver dogs soon located other body parts, including two hands and two feet, buried in a shallow grave. They're still looking for the torso. Over the weekend police announced that they had identified the male victim. They did not name him, but said that he was of European descent and in his 40s. Investigators believe the man was killed within 72 hours of the grisly discovery.

In its today's edition the respected Mexico City newspaper El Universal reports that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says the L.A. case has the "signature" of a Mexican drug cartel murder. Decapitations and dismemberments - often referred to as "quarterings" in this country - are a common way of eliminating competitors or gang members who have disobeyed orders. The powerful Los Zetas, in particular, are devotés of the practice, and the now common appearance of horribly brutalized human remains at crime scenes is a cartel calling card which some experts say originated with the group.

As MGRR has reported (links below), Mexican cartels are working with affiliated gangs across the United States, especially in the west and southwest. The gangs have been responsible for several executions by decapitation north of the border, for offenses such as theft or disloyalty, or merely to motivate a reluctant potential recruit to join their ranks.

In an October 2010 Arizona case, according to the El Universal report, a Mexican drug peddler sold narcotics on the street and decided to pocket the money. He told his boss, a local capo, that he had been "busted" by police and the drugs were seized during his arrest. The man was found decapitated in his apartment, the victim of a boss who wanted to send a clear message to all of his sales staff.

In a horrific case last October, 19 year old Carina Saunders (photo) of Bethany, Okl., was tortured, decapitated and dismembered in front of a 20 year old woman in an effort to persuade the latter to work with drug - and human - traffickers. Two men with alleged gang connections, one American and one Mexican, have been arrested, one of whom has purportedly confessed that the motive was purely intimidation.

Neither the Los Angeles police nor the DEA have officially commented on possible links between Mexican cartels or their American associates and the human remains found last week in the Hollywood hills. But the modus operandi is strikingly similar.

Dec. 27 - Was singer Whitney Houston murdered in L.A. over a $1.5 million drug debt? This guy says she was.

Mexican cartels control narcotics business in 17 Texas counties:
Mexican drug dealers wash their dirty money through U.S. "affiliates":

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