Monkey shot dead as Mexican cartels’ passion for exotic animals leaves bloody scars | Mexico

Mexican narcos’ fascination with exotic animals surfaced this week after a spider monkey dressed as the mascot of a drug gang was killed in a shootout, a 200kg tiger wandered into the streets of the state of Nayarit, on the Pacific coast, and that a man died after trying to pet a tiger in captivity in an area dominated by a cartel in the western state of Michoacán.

Eleven suspected gang members died in Tuesday’s shooting in the state of Mexico, which surrounds the capital. Photos from the scene showed a small monkey wearing a tiny camouflage jacket and a tiny “bulletproof” vest lying on the body of a dead shooter.

Authorities in the State of Mexico have confirmed the authenticity of the photos.

“A primate was killed at the scene, which likely belonged to a felon who was also killed at the scene,” state prosecutors said in a statement, adding, “An autopsy will be performed on the animal by a veterinarian specializing in the species.” They said animal trafficking charges would be brought against the suspects who survived the shooting.

Then on Wednesday, the environmental protection attorney general said he seized a tiger in Tecuala, in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, near the border with Sinaloa, home to the cartel of the same name.

The office said it acted “after receiving reports of a Bengal tiger roaming the streets of Tecuala”, and discovered the animal was illegally held there.

This information was based on a video posted on social media earlier this week showing a young woman screaming as she encountered the tiger on the street of a residential area. “Shut up, it might get closer,” a woman can be heard saying on the video.

Authorities said the tiger’s claws and fangs had been removed, and a man can be seen later in the video casually throwing a rope at the tiger’s neck and leading him away.

Perhaps the most tragic story is that of the western state of Michoacán, which has long been dominated by the Carteles Unidos gang and the Jalisco Cartel.

Authorities confirmed on Sunday that a man was seriously injured by a tiger in Peribán, Michoacán, a town in the state’s avocado-producing region where gangs have long extorted protection payments from the lucrative avocado trade. the lawyer.

In a video posted on social media, the authenticity of which could not be confirmed, the man is seen calling the tiger next to a fenced enclosure. “Come on, come on,” the man can be heard pleading.

The man stands outside the enclosure, apparently feeding the tiger with one hand, as he reaches his other arm through the chain-link fence to stroke the animal’s neck.

The man then screams in pain after the tiger quickly spins and bites the outstretched arm and refuses to let go.

Michoacán state law enforcement confirmed the man was taken to hospital, where he died days later from his injuries.

Security analyst David Saucedo said drug traffickers often kept exotic animals as a symbol of status and power, mimicking Colombian drug lords of the 80s and 90s.

“Mexican drug traffickers copied from the Medellín Cartel the custom of acquiring exotic animals and establishing private zoos,” Saucedo said. “According to the code of the drug-trafficking aristocracy, having a private zoo was a prerequisite for joining the circle of major drug traffickers.”

In some cases, animals had a more sinister use.

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

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