Especially given the contested presidential elections and the seizure of popular power in Oaxaca—both potential threats to Mexico’s ruling elites—it is ominous indeed to see the evident emergence of Colombia-style death squads linked to the drug trade and (we can assume) elements of the security forces. From Reuters, Oct. 8:
Morelia, Mexico — Two severed heads were found in a busy town centre in Mexico yesterday several km from their bodies, police said, the latest in a string of gory killings in crime-infested Michoacan state.
The two male heads had been dumped outside a car showroom in the colonial town of Zitacuaro, in a mountainous area bristling with drug gangs fighting over smuggling routes.
A note left with them read: “The Michoacan family are not extortionists. P.S. I’m waiting for your next call.” Similar messages have been left with other human heads in a rash of decapitations and murders in recent weeks. The mens’ bodies were found, covered with burn marks, in the outskirts of Zitacuaro. One had been handcuffed, the other’s hands were bound with brown tape.
A spokesman for the state attorney general’s office said the crime had “all the characteristics” of being related to drug trafficking.
“The level of violence has increased considerably as they are trying to due to control the territory, the geography of Michoacan,” state police coordinator Roberto Fuerte said.