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Monkey in “bullet-proof” vest found dead after bloody cartel shootout in Mexico

Mexican narcos’ fascination with unique animals was on show this week after a spider monkey dressed up as a drug gang mascot was killed in a shootout, a 450-pound tiger wandered the streets in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, and a person died after attempting to pet a captive tiger in a cartel-dominated space of western Michoacan state.

Like scenes out of a narco tv collection, unique animals have been lengthy been a part of the Mexican legal underworld.

Photos from the scene of a shootout Tuesday in Texcaltitlan with police in which 11 drug gang members died, confirmed a small monkey – dressed in a tiny camouflage jacket and a tiny “bullet-proof” vest – sprawled throughout the physique of a dead gunman who was apparently his proprietor.

Authorities in the State of Mexico confirmed the authenticity of the images, and stated it was unclear whether or not the monkey – which was additionally carrying a diaper – died in the hail of bullets that killed his proprietor.

Ten killed in Mexico State shootout with security forces, officials say
Federal forces are pictured at a scene following a shootout that left three safety forces wounded and a minimum of 10 suspected criminals killed, in Texcaltitlan, Mexico June 14, 2022.

STRINGER / REUTERS


“A primate was killed at the scene, which was presumably owned by a criminal who was also killed at the scene,” state prosecutors stated in an announcement, including “an autopsy will be carried out on the animal by a veterinarian specialized in the species” and animal-trafficking fees can be thought of in opposition to the suspects who survived the shootout.

Then on Wednesday, the Attorney General for Environmental Protection stated it had seized a tiger in Tecuala, in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, close to the border with Sinaloa, which is dwelling to the cartel of the identical identify.

The office stated it acted “after receiving reports about a Bengal tiger that was wandering the streets of Tecuala,” and found that the animal was being illegally stored there.

Those reviews have been based mostly on a video posted on social media earlier this week, displaying a younger girl shrieking as she got here throughout the tiger on the road in a residential neighborhood. “Be quiet, it might come close,” a lady might be heard saying on the video.

Authorities stated the tiger’s claws and fangs had been eliminated, and a person might be seen later in the video casually tossing a rope over the tiger’s neck and main him away.

Perhaps essentially the most tragic story got here out of the western state of Michoacan, which has lengthy been dominated by the Carteles Unidos gang and the Jalisco cartel, which the Department of Justice considers to be “one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world.”   .

On Sunday, authorities confirmed {that a} man was significantly wounded by a tiger in Periban, Michoacan, a city in the state’s avocado-growing area, the place gangs have lengthy extorted safety funds from the profitable avocado commerce.

In a video posted on social media, whose authenticity couldn’t be confirmed, the person is seen calling the tiger to the aspect of a fenced enclosure. “Come on, come,” the person might be heard entreating.

The man stands exterior the enclosure, apparently feeding the tiger with one hand, whereas he stretches his different arm by means of the chain-link fence to stroke the animal’s neck.

The man then shrieks in ache after the tiger rapidly wheels and bites the prolonged arm and refuses to let go. Eventually the tiger mauled each the person’s arms.

Michoacan state legislation enforcement authorities confirmed that the person was taken to a hospital, the place he died a number of days later from his accidents.

Mexican legislation permits personal residents to maintain unique animals in the event that they register them below strictly supervised circumstances. But safety analyst David Saucedo stated criminals generally go to the size of getting such permits.

Saucedo stated drug traffickers typically maintain unique animals as an emblem of standing and energy, imitating the Colombian drug lords of the Eighties and 90s, like Pablo Escobar.

“Mexican drug traffickers copied from the narcos of the Medellin cartel the custom of acquiring exotic animals and setting up private zoos,” stated Saucedo. “According to the code of the drug trafficking aristocracy, having a private zoo was a prerequisite for being part of the circle of big-time drug traffickers.”

Sometimes, the animals can inadvertently draw undesirable consideration.  Notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s beloved pet monkey, Botas, was what led police to the drug lord’s hideout in October, in line with a report in Mexican media reported.

In some circumstances, the animals had a extra sinister use.

“Some drug cartel capos, like Zetas leader Heriberto Lazcano, acquired exotic animals to torture or disappear their victims,” Saucedo stated. “Several of his enemies were devoured by the tigers or the crocodiles that the Zetas kept in their pens or cages.”

Lazcano himself was killed in a shootout with Mexican navy personnel in 2012.

Mexico has registered greater than 340,000 murders and tens of hundreds of disappearances since launching a controversial navy offensive in opposition to organized crime in 2006.

Experts and human rights defenders say the militarization of fight in opposition to organized crime has exacerbated Mexico’s drawback with violence.

Since coming to energy on the finish of 2018, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has repeatedly known as for safety providers to rely extra on intelligence than pressure in combating criminality.

In March, Lopez Obrador accused common tv exhibits of glamorizing the violent drug commerce. He criticized TV collection on platforms akin to Netflix, saying they offered a rose-colored model of the existence of drug traffickers. 

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