Bloody victims of Mexican criminals’ attachment to exotic pets

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MEXICO CITY – Mexican drug addicts’ fascination with exotic animals was revealed this week after a monkey spider dressed as a mascot mascot was killed in a shootout, a 450-pound (200-pound) tiger roaming the streets of the Pacific coast of Nahya a man died after trying to pet a captured tiger in a cartel-dominated area of ​​western Michoacan.

Like scenes from a drug TV series, exotic animals have long been part of Mexico’s criminal world.

Photos from the scene of Tuesday’s shooting with police, which killed 11 members of a drug gang, showed a small monkey wearing a tiny camouflage jacket and a tiny “bulletproof” vest lying on the body of a dead shooter who apparently owned it.

Authorities in the Mexican state have confirmed the authenticity of the photos, saying it was unclear whether the monkey – who was also wearing diapers – had died from hail from bullets that killed its owner.

“A primate suspected of being the property of a criminal who was also killed at the scene was killed at the scene,” the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement, adding that “the animal will be autopsied by a specialized veterinarian. in the form of “And accusations of animal trafficking against the suspects who survived the shooting will be considered.

Then on Wednesday, the chief prosecutor for environmental protection said he had caught a tiger in Tequala, in the Pacific coastal state of Nayarit, near the border with Sinaloa, where the cartel of the same name is located.

The office said it had acted “after receiving reports of a Bengal tiger roaming the streets of Tequala” and found that the animal was being kept there illegally.

These reports are based on a video posted on social media earlier this week showing a young woman screaming as she encountered a tiger on the street in a residential neighborhood. “Shut up, you can get closer,” a woman is heard saying in the video.

Authorities said the tiger’s claws and teeth had been removed, and later the video showed a man carelessly throwing a rope over the tiger’s neck and taking him away.

Perhaps the most tragic story came from the western state of Michoacan, which has long been dominated by the Carteles Unidos gang and the Jalisco cartel.

Authorities confirmed Sunday that a man was seriously injured by a tiger in Periban, Michoacan, a city in the state’s avocado region where gangs have long blackmailed payments to protect themselves from the lucrative avocado trade.

A video posted on social media, the authenticity of which cannot be confirmed, shows the man calling the tiger from the side of a fenced fence. “Come on, come on,” the man is heard praying.

The man is standing outside the enclosure, apparently feeding the tiger with one hand while he extends his other hand through the chain link fence to caress the animal’s neck.

The man then screams in pain as the tiger turns quickly and bites his outstretched hand and refuses to let go. Eventually, the tiger tore both of the man’s arms.

Michoacan law enforcement confirmed that the man was taken to hospital, where he died a few days later from his injuries.

Mexican law allows private citizens to keep exotic animals if they register them under strictly controlled conditions. But security analyst David Sausedo said criminals sometimes try to obtain such permits.

Neighbors said drug traffickers often keep exotic animals as a symbol of status and power, mimicking Colombian drug lords from the 1980s and 1990s.

“Mexican drug traffickers copied from the Medellin cartel drugs the custom of acquiring exotic animals and setting up private zoos,” Sosedo said. “According to the Code of the Drug Trafficking Aristocracy, having a private zoo was a prerequisite for being part of the circle of major drug traffickers.”

In some cases, the animals had more sinister use.

“Some drug cartel capo, such as Zetas leader Heriberto Lascano, have acquired exotic animals to torture or disappear their victims,” ​​Sosedo said. “Several of his enemies were devoured by the tigers or crocodiles that the Zetas kept in their pens or cages.”

Lascano himself was killed in a shootout with the Mexican military in 2012.

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