Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 Veracruz drug war executions surge a staggering 960% in the "City of Cadavers"

Government reports indicate that in 2010, there were 51 organized crime executions in Veracruz state. In the year just ended, that number rose to 490. The 960% increase was by far the largest recorded in any of the 32 Mexican states in 2011. The stats were reported today by Mexico's Milenio network.

Other states with significant increases in cartel violence were Guerrero (Acapulco), with a 40% increase, and Nuevo León in northern Mexico, the capital of which is Monterrey, with a 230% increase. Acapulco has been the scene of many brutal executions in the past year, as well as an extortion attempt directed at teachers which closed hundreds of elementary and high schools, and idled tens of thousands of students, in August and September. In the bustling commercial center of Monterrey, only 100 miles from the U.S. border, an August 25 fire bombing of the Casino Royale left 52 guests and employees dead, most of them women. The attack was carried out in broad daylight on a busy avenue where the casino operated. Dozens of members of the Los Zetas cartel have been arrested and are awaiting trial in that case. Police say the attack was retaliation for the owners' refusal to pay extortion demands. One of the owners fled to the United States immediately after the attack, in fear for his life.

The worst horror in 2011 was reserved for the once popular resort of Veracruz-Boca del Río, where nearly 100 bodies were dumped on public streets or abandoned in other locations in September and October. Authorities say warring groups there include Los Zetas, Los Matazetas (the "Zeta killers") and the Cartel Golfo. Veracruz is now a virtual military zone under armed forces supervision. A thousand members of its police force -- the entire department -- was dismissed just before Christmas, to weed out corruption and cartel infiltration in the ranks. Christmas week produced 39 new execution victims along the Veracruz-Tamulipas border, including three U.S. citizens. I have many times referred to Veracruz and adjacent areas as the City of Cadavers. It's a name well-deserved.

All of these stories, and many related ones, are reported in this Blog. Please use the search engine, or simply browse through previous posts, to locate them. If you're looking for a particular post and can't find it, drop me a note at If a post exists, I'll find it for you quickly.

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