The ultra-Christianist ultra-violent right-wing drug cartel from western Mexico, La Familia Michoacana, have been hit hard in recent days and weeks by both anti-drug authorities and rivals.
Mexico drugs cartel suspects arrested in Atlanta area
BBC News | 4 November 10, 2010
Police in the United States have arrested 45 people they accuse of belonging to the Mexican drug cartel La Familia Michoacana. Agents also seized cash, guns and drugs as part of their operation against the cell, based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Police said the city had become a major drug distribution centre, from where drugs were being shipped to neighbouring states. But they said the arrests would disrupt the cartel’s operation in Atlanta.
It’s a serious setback for La Familia’s efforts to establish itself as the pre-eminent drug distribution operation in Atlanta.
The agents said they seized 23kg (50lb) of methamphetamine, 43kg of cocaine and more than 2,000kg of marijuana, amounting to a street value of $10m (£6.14m).
Senior agent in the US Drug Enforcement Administration John Comer warned that while the operation to dismantle this particular cell had been successful, it was just one of many operating in the Atlanta area.
“Mexican cartels such as La Familia Michoacana have collectively become the most powerful drug trafficking organisations in the world, and have an impact on the United States,” he said.
Weeks earlier, a group of 20 La Familia members were overtaken and kidnapped in Acapulco in retaliation for their accelerating territorial acquisition and influence. Their bodies were only recently discovered in a mass grave:
Mexican police have found a mass grave near the Pacific resort of Acapulco, holding what they believe to be victims of the country’s drug war.
So far 18 bodies have been recovered but officers were due to conduct further searches of the site.
Police have so far not confirmed the identities of the dead, fuelling speculation they may be from a group of 20 men abducted over a month ago.
In a modern twist to the usual violence, after La Familia found at least two of the mass killers, they tortured and beat the men, and then recorded their words to upload onto YouTube:
20 Kidnapped and Missing in Acapulco, Now Found in Mass Grave
T. C. Baker | Thursday, November 4th, 2010
Two battered men with hands cuffed behind them speak in a one minute nine second video . .
A voice asks, “Who ordered the kidnapping of the Michoacanos?” The off-camera voice refers to the kidnapping of at least twenty people that visited Acapulco from Morelia . .
The dialogue continues…“What were your orders?” “We were going to take them to Cuernavaca, but the way to that city was full of military checkpoints…Then the orders were to bury them in the town of Tres Palos,” answered the two. “Why did this massacre happen?” the voice asked. “All this happened because of La Familia Michoacana…because they took the plaza of Ciudad Altamirano away from us.”
The two men’s battered bodies were found on top of the mass grave, accompanied by a sign that read: “The people they killed are buried here.”