The shocking video of the mass execution was posted, according to El Pais, by members of Los Tlacos, and the victims are members of La Bandera, part of the Guerreros Unidos cartel.
The disturbing video continues for more than seven minutes. It shows about 20 people on their knees. They are being interrogated and tortured by hooded armed men. The evident leader of the gang doing the tormenting, a man with a long gun, whose voice is blurred in the recording, demands to know of each captive what is his name, what is his nickname, and who is his boss.
There is a narrative voice-over with the tape. That man is telling the people of Iguala why the victims of this mass execution deserve their fate. He says that they all “extorted money and … were killing innocent people,” they are “the garbage that terrorized this beautiful city.”
Hours earlier, four dismembered corpses had been left in front of the home of the new mayor of Iguala, the man who took office the following day, David Gama.
Background of the Mexican Cartel Video
In Mexican politics, Gama is within the PRI-PRD coalition, that is, the coalition of the Institutional Revolutionary Party and the Party of the Democratic Revolution. The PRI was a leader of a one-party state for decades in Mexico. Although Mexico is a multi-party country now, and has been since at the latest the turn of the millennium, the PRI continues to receive blame in some quarters for the corruption that built up during its period of dominance.
The hooded man in the Mexican cartel video accuses Gama of ties to the leader of the Guerreros Unidos cartel, Jesus Brito.
Brito’s partners in the leadership of Guerreros Unidos and La Bandera include Héctor Rodríguez and Juan Carlos Flores.
Seven years ago, in Iguala, local and state security forces along with criminal groups such as Guerreros Unidos, kidnapped and caused the “disappearance” of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School.
Local memories of the Ayotzinapa case are vivid. Brito, Rodriguez, and Flores have all been named as key figures in that case.
More on the Ayotzinapa Disappearances
Tomás Zerón led the early stages of the investigation into what had happened at the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School. But Zerón went from pursuer to pursued. He was found to have employed torture as an investigative strategy extensively.
Zeron has since taken refuge in Israel. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking his return, thus far without success.
At a recent press conference, responding to demands for an explanation of a lack of progress on Ayotzinapa, the prosecutor now responsible for the case, Omar Gómez, said that the National Intelligence Center has given his office 40 videos where former officials are observed torturing detainees in the case.
The current investigators had to start from scratch. In the meantime, it continues to serve as fuel for anger, and excuses for vigilante violence.
Assistance to Asylum Seekers?
El País, a Spanish language periodical, says that the Mexican cartel video was released Wednesday. It vividly portrays the increase in violence in the southern Mexico state of Guerraro. Of course, execution-style murders, even those shown to the world in such explicit footage, aren’t unique to any one country.
But such brazen and disturbing violence may be helpful to lawyers who seek to make the case that many recent Mexican arrivals in the United States are legitimate seekers of asylum.