Zetas Cartel Victims

Over the course of 10 days — between Sunday, January 26, and Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — nearly 100 government officials in Coahuila state, northern Mexico, left their desks to execute some unusual fieldwork. They were investigating what exactly happened to dozens of people who disappeared in a region known as Los Cinco Manantiales, or the Five Springs.

In a chilling twist to the drugs violence that has so far claimed over 40,000 lives, men are given machetes and knives and ordered at gunpoint to fight for their lives in gladiator-style contests.

The incineration of victims is a long standing practice that allows the criminal organization to avoid scrutiny as well as help Mexican government officials continue to claim low crime statistics.

Of all the gangs and cartels active in Mexico’s drugs war over the last two decades, the Zetas hold a particularly gruesome place. Created in 2000 by former members of the Mexican armed forces, they quickly rose to prominence during a decade-long reign of terror during which they murdered with impunity. Their modus operandi was simple: they subjected local communities where they operated to extreme violence, typically torturing their victims and then dismembering them, often leaving bodies in public places.

As Breitbart Texas previously reported, Guzman’s empire, while deemed praise worthy by many, has in fact been built on bloodshed. A quick look at the history of the Sinaloa Cartel shows that El Chapo and efforts to expand his empire have led to much of the ongoing drug violence that has plunged Mexico into a narco-war.

Ecuadorian Luis Fredy Lala told authorities he was the only person to escape alive when gunmen massacred the 58 men and 14 women at a rural ranch just 100 miles from the U.S. border.