By Allan Wall
February 9, 2010
The narco-cartel violence continues unabated in Mexico, in fact, it’s going from bad to worse.
Universal, Mexico’s paper of record, does a detailed job of keeping a running tally of the carnage.
Universal reported that, as of February 3rd, 2010, the death count in the drug wars had already passed 1000. Yes, you read that right. In a little over a month 1015 had been killed.
On average, that’s a killing every 48 minutes.
Universal´s statistics of the past five years show the situation getting worse by the year.
In 2005, the 1000th death mark was reached on September 11th. In 2006 it was June 30th. In 2007 it was May 14th. In 2008 the 1000th death was reached on April 22nd. Last year, it was reached on February 20th. Now this year it was February 3rd.
You notice that it’s earlier each year.
To put it another way, this year it’s only taken 34 days to kill as many people as were killed in a 254-day period in 2005.
Thus far in 2010, the day with the most killings was January 9th, in which 69 persons perished in the narco-carnage. On January 31st, 57 were killed, on the 20th it was 53, on the12th it was 44 and on February 3rd it was 25 killed. On January 1st, New Year’s Day, 37 were killed.
When you break the 2010 statistics down geographically, you find that nearly a quarter of the killings , 24.3%, took place in the state of Chihuahua, followed closely by Sinaloa state at 22.5%. Baja California had 11.6%, Durango 8.2% and Guerrero 7.8%. Killings in all other states combined totaled 25.6%.
And it’s not only the body count, which is bad enough. It’s the grisly nature of the murders and the impunity with which they are dispatched.
On Sunday morning , January 31st, 15 people, most of them teenagers, were massacred in Ciudad Juarez.
On February 1st, the city of Torreon, Coahuila, was the scene of a car chase in which a cartel commando traveling in six vehicles was pursued. They arrived to a popular shopping mall, in which shoppers going about their regular shopping were interrupted and had to hit the floor. They heard the shots right outside in the first shootout, in which one cartel hitman was slain.
After escaping and driving two kilometers the hitmen were ambushed by federal police. The ensuing gunfight lasted 20 minutes – one policeman and five cartel gang members were killed.
The gruesome yet meticulous manner in which these people operate is demonstrated by another case from early January.
body of a kidnap victim was found in various locations in the city of
Los Mochis. I say “various locations” because the body had
been hacked into seven pieces and left in several different places.
The victim’s torso, in a plastic container was found in one location. The legs, arms and skull were inside a box at another location. The victim’s face, however, had been removed from the skull, sewn onto a soccer ball, and placed in a plastic bag by the City Hall.
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This was all utilized as a warning to a rival cartel. An accompanying message read “Happy New Year, because this will be your last.”
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Allan Wall recently returned to the U.S. after residing many years in Mexico.