When captured the Wormeater and The Rat, had five grenades and about a million dollars in cash. Garbage grabbed him trying to extort money from bus drivers, police, and The Sow was notorious for the way they killed their enemies. It is said that El Vago “scorched his victims and buried them in unmarked graves.
As the violence worsens in the war on drugs in Mexico, the nicknames of the mob bosses have become more somber, reflecting their impersonal and almost industrial attitude toward violence.
There are no nicknames like The King (Jesus Zambada Garcia), The Lord of Heaven (Amado Carrillo Fuentes) or The Boss of Bosses (Arturo Beltran Leyva), who are dead or prisoners. The mid-range hoods now have names like The Mataperros. That was the name of Baltazar Saucedo Estrada, the alleged leader of the cartel Los Zetas.
According to experts, the death or capture of drug lords has left lower-level thugs in charge of criminal business, leaning to most of the brutal acts and killings and dismemberments. Rather than killing the enemy for money or territory, many of today’s drug traffickers, especially Los Zetas, think that killing people is part of the company, which is necessary to impose its will on the population.
“What we’re seeing is a different nickname that reflects a different way in which criminals are identified and new forms of violence,” said Martin Barron, an expert in criminology from the National Institute of Penal Sciences of Mexico.
Mexico had already suffered enough of the drug violence from the government’s offensive against organized crime in 2006. The bloodshed has intensified and has become part of everyday life, especially with crimes that emphasize the number of dead. The latest atrocity occurred in May, when 49 bodies were dumped beside a road in northern Mexico without heads, arms and legs.
“We are seeing more and more brutal violence … in which the person is dehumanized,” said Barron. “It does not matter what you do or not do to another person.”
Saucedo Estrada (The Mateperros), allegedly ordered his followers set fire to a casino in Monterrey last year to punish the owners for refusing to pay extortion. 53 people died, and Saucedo Estrada was arrested in January. We do not know why he’s called like this: drug traffickers often branded as “dogs” enemies or police, and said to the young recruits are forced to dismember dogs and then practice it with humans.
Another mid-level boss of the Zetas, William de Jesus Solorzano Torres, aka (The wormeater), was allegedly in charge of the cartel’s finances. His nickname came from extreme training that criminals are subjected to, like the Guatemalan Kaibil commands, where the recruits have to eat insects to survive in the jungle.
The Sow (Manuel Fernandez Valencia) apparently was close to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and his nickname is apparently due to the way “pig” that was killing his opponents. It was also known as The Animal.
The new style of nicknames reflects “a certain cynicism, as a joke,” said Pedro de la Cruz, a Professor of safety at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
“These nicknames reflect the fact that they are not taken seriously”, as did previous bosses, who were subject to codes of conduct and belonged to mafia type family clans, with rules of complicity and obedience, said Cross.
The more chilling are the nicknames that no one dares to utter or so dangerous they are, said Barron.
Mauricio Guizar, an alleged capo of the Zetas in southern Mexico, who was arrested in July, was the yellow, apparently for his complexion. But the Mexican navy says many are simply called “The Color” because it was forbidden to pronounce his name.
In regions such as Tamaulipas, which borders with the United States, no one even talks about the Zetas. Obliquely referred to the group calling it “The Letter” or “The Last Letter”.
“In some parts of Tamaulipas, if you buy a newspaper that is worth seven dollars and they charge you ten, they say ‘the other three weights are for’ The Company ‘. Not even mention the sign,” said Barron.
Of course, there are some criminals who use nicknames just weird.
In June he was captured in Chihuahua Jose Guadalupe Rivas, the alleged kingpin of the cartel Line, which dominated the cities of Juarez and Chihuahua. Rivas, who allegedly oversaw drug distribution and communications network that band, had the name of Frosted Flakes.
In May in Texas, were arrested several gunmen cartel La Familia, including one who called himself “The Muffler” (Gerardo Fernandez Covarrubias) and one with the nickname of Yogurt .
Juan Abelardo Hernandez, an expert on cultural issues at the Universidad Panamericana, said the character “The Joker” in Batman movies may inspire a new generation of traffickers eager to have an ironic nickname. In fact one of the suspects in the killing of seven people in Morelos in 2011, Cesar Galindo, called himself The Joker.
Hernandez said that today’s thugs, usually young twenties, possibly be using the names they used when they were kids in internet games, instead of something to indicate his rank or his work in the criminal organization.
The idea is not so farfetched, considering that the cartels have proven to be experts in the electronic media, putting videos of their crimes on blogs, social sites and video sites.
“It’s a different generation,” said Hernandez, “one that seeks alternate personalities, network images, characters, or avatars.”
- As Mexico’s drug war gets gritty, so do nicknames (dailystar.com.lb)
- As Mexico’s drug war gets gritty, so do nicknames (miamiherald.com)
- As Mexico’s drug war gets gritty, so do nicknames (cnsnews.com)
- As Mexico’s drug war gets gritty, so do nicknames (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- As Mexico’s drug war gets gritty, so do nicknames (wtvm.com)
- Mexican Cartel Nicknames Get Dirtier, Gritier (wibw.com)