As cartel violence becomes horrifically commonplace in Mexico, the need to send a message to enemies has Mexican drug cartels resorting to violence that has more in common with terror groups like ISIS than criminal organizations.
Brutal, messy decapitations, filmed and posted to social media, have become a new norm, according to the Daily Beast, and video of one such decapitation was posted on social media and reposted to Blog del Narco (needless to say, the footage is disturbing), which chronicles violence and crime associated with the country’s years-long drug war that doesn’t always make it to the news.
Decapitations, especially gory ones, are popular with cartels because of their perceived shock value, and they have become more frequent in recent years. After committing the murders, some cartels send the heads of decapitation victims to rivals and law enforcement.
In the video acquired by Blog del Narco, members of the Viagras cartel captured a member of a rival gang, ordered him to “confess” to “sins,” then sawed off his head with a knife as blood sprayed from his severed neck.
The incident took place in the Mexican state of Michoacán, a hotbed for drug violence. Cartels battle over the territory for growing opium poppies, used to make heroin that feeds the epidemic in the United States, according to the Guardian. This year is slated to be the bloodiest year in nearly a decade in Mexico, with cartel violence accounting for most of the increase and “dozens” of beheadings, according to the Daily Beast.
Nearly 21,000 people have been killed in the first 10 months of 2017. There is not an official count for November or December at this time.
In October alone, about 90 people were killed every day, an “extraordinarily violent month,” according to Mexican security analyst Alejandro Hope. Forbes cite Hope saying the murder rate was equivalent to “four [murders] per hour, or one every sixteen minutes.”