By Jim Kouri
Mexican police officers yesterday discovered dismembered bodies packed into plastic garbage bags left inside an abandoned van, according to the Law Enforcement Examiner’s U.S. drug enforcement source.
What appeared to be the remains of 14 male victims were found in Mexico’s northern border city of Nuevo Laredo and federal police investigators said the killings are probably linked to the drug war being fought by opposing cartels.
According to officials, police officers received a telephoned report describing an abandoned truck in the city. A search of the van revealed 10 black plastic bags containing the remains of 14 male bodies, in their early-to-mid 30s.
No group has claimed responsibility for the massive slaughter, but drug cartels are the most likely to blame, according to the Law Enforcement Examiner’s anonymous, drug enforcement officer source.
The suspicious vehicle was left parked right in front of the city’s municipal building which includes City Hall and the mayor’s private office. A threatening message from the unidentified criminal group was also left, but the Mexican police refused to divulge the contents of the note written in Spanish.
Police officers and personnel from the Mexican armed forces responded to the crime scene and started their investigation with forensic technicians and police photographers, said the American source.
The northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas is one of the areas that faces the extreme violence caused by organized crime gangs for more than five years. Drug cartels, such as the powerful Los Zetas, are in the midst of fighting other crime gangs as well as the police and the military, in a violent effort to control the valuable routes into the United States, according federal government officials in Mexico City.
More than 50,000 people — mostly Mexicans — have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon initiated his “war against organized crimes” in 2006.
Ironically, Calderon had just returned from the America’s Summit which was held on Saturday and Sunday. During the summit Mexico’s beleaguered President, called for all countries represented at the two-day meeting to fight illegal drug use and to stop arms exports to organized crime gangs such as Los Zetas drug cartel.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas held in Cartegena, Colombia, Calderon stated he’s requesting intensifying programs that are geared towards reducing drug consumption in the nations that are mostly consumers, especially the United States. He also requested an end to the trafficking of arms to Latin American nations.
“Calderon, who frequently chastises the United States in front of American politicians who never defend their own country or U.S. citizens, blamed U.S. banks for the money laundering that boosts criminals’ violence and power,” said former police detective now security director Manuel Cardoza.
The summit at the request of Guatemala — a country in the midst of its own drug war — agreed to discuss the appropriateness of the region’s drug trafficking policies, and decided that the Organization of American States should take on the task of formulating an anti-drug, anti-violence strategy, according to a U.S law enforcement source working in Latin America. “The intention is to carry out a diagnosis of alternatives including the implications, costs and benefits of several possible policy options that might be implemented,” he said.