Severed Heads – The year 2018 started just as violent in Mexico as the last one. In the first week of 2018 at least 25 people were killed because of drug-related violence. In the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez, 12 people were killed in an hour last Friday.
In the eastern state of Veracruz, five severed heads were found this Friday on top of an abandoned taxi. In the taxi, the body parts of five men were found. The taxi, from Tlacotalpan, was parked on the side of a highway just outside the city. The dismembered body parts were crammed into black bags in the trunk. On the Taxi, the initials of the drug cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación (CJNG) were painted.
The identities of the victims have not been determined yet.
In the area around the city of Veracruz, several criminal groups are at war with each other. In the port, a lot of cocaine from Colombia comes in and from there is also distributed to other destinations. This territory originally belonged to the Gulf Cartel. The paramilitary branch split from the cartel back in 2010. That group became known under the name Los Zetas.
The Zetas have been weakened by struggles inside the organization and because of assaults from the Mexican government. In the meantime, CJNG is gaining a strong foothold in Mexico. That group originated on the other side of Mexico. Last week, the authorities in Veracruz arrested a number of people suspected of being members of a group named “Sombra”, the armed forces of the Gulf Cartel.
In Central Mexico, a series of local politicians and mayors were murdered this week.
In the city of Ciudad Juárez, 12 people were killed in different parts of the city in one hour on Friday, presumably to settle some debts in the drug environment. Juárez is located in the center of Mexico and forms a gateway to the United States.
In December a journalist was murdered near Veracruz at a primary school in front of the eyes of children. In the tourist town of Acapulco, six other people were found hanged on a bridge.
The year 2017 takes the prize for being the bloodiest year in Mexico’s recent history. Over 23,000 direct victims as a result of drug violence. That’s more than in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The reason for the increase in violence is due to the success of dismantling the top of the cartels. Due to arrests, rival groups fight for control of the cartels.