How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

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How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

Bounty Law
Thought it would be interesting to see what the other users here say. Some might have family or come from the effected areas (although I imagine living with the reality day in and day out might make it less interesting), others former addicts or distributors and most probably just naturally curious.

I'm a white guy from Australia who knew nothing about it until around 2010. An old friend had told me about the chainsaw video he saw online (the Sinaloa cartel one with the 2 guys) and I was shocked at what he was describing. Up until then I never really gave it any thought, I just naively assumed the drug war in Mexico was the watered down version like the one seen in the movie 'Traffic'. I wasn't much the crime reader type either but was into geopolitics, economics and armed conflicts like Iraq and Afghanistan.

I started looking into it further and naturally found myself frequenting Borderland Beat and downloading anything I could get my hands on, from 'Narco Cultura' to 'Cartel Land'. I find the economic, political and financial side interesting, and also have a fascination to the dark tone of it all whether it's the ominous streets of a border town or sinister figures like 'El Mencho' capable of demonic violence on a grand scale. Amidst all this I have nothing but sympathy for the majority of Mexican people, decent and hard working, who are now seeing more of their beautiful country negatively impacted by corruption and the spillover in violence.

One of my crime obsessed work colleagues now visits Borderland Beat everyday, like me he knew nothing about what was going on until I told him about it all. Now he's knee deep in the stuff. Not many Australians know about the true extent of what's happening south of the US border.

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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

Parro
A long time ago, there was a film called "Reefer Madness".  Imagine a rotating spiral and ominous music.  Marijuana was hallucogenic and caused people to jump off buildings.  Umm . . . intrigued me more than frightened me.

Most of the pot came over from over the border, Mexico.  Other movies started appearing showing farmers in Sinaloa, Acapulco God, Sinsemilla (Rafael's contribution"], etc.  Then all of a sudden the weed stunk.  From paraquat sprayings to eradicate fields, it was still harvested and sold.

From friends and family south of the border it was a good time with good people mainly because it was just a party and intrigue.  Then it changed . . . guns, bullets and murders.

From Columbia, we had the Calis and Medellins, violent cartels who started dominating North America with their cocaine.  Then it was Mexican logistics and the poppy.  The battle in Mexico started with cultivation ownership, that became a war.

Mexico now being in the driver's seat, instead of Columbia, became ultra-competitive to gain the source, route and destination.  With this, became Columbia violence, magnified.  The worse the violence, the worse the fear, the ruthless cartel was born.

Parties were gone, with family and friends.  For this to go on.  you would be  aligned against someone else, so everyone retreated in their shell, while cartels were formed for intimidation and entry points to the lucrative market in the north.

To know the true extent from here, just go the archives on this blog, and you'll be able to piece some of the puzzle together.  It's always mutating . . . who rules who . . extraordinary violent . . .
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

ElGrandeRojo
I first was interested when I found out that my father's cousin was married to a "big shot drug dealer in Mexico". It was Hector Beltran Leyva. His wife was Clara Laborin Archuleta. My father knew her as a child, but he moved to Colorado in the 60's. We never met or saw them, but at family gatherings there was talk about her and her husband. I found out in 2006, and my interest in the Mexican DTO's has only grown. BB is the best source for English speaking people. I admire Chivis, Buggs, Yaqui, Sol, and all the others who contribute. I also love my fellow commenters. Even the crazy ones. Stay healthy, and stay safe. Great idea for a post.
ElGrandeRojo
Kab
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

Kab
Been here since Calderon declared war on the cartels/drugs.

I remember as a kid, 20+ years ago how safe and fun Mexico was to visit.  Now, I won't dare step foot in that shit hole.
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

El_Canadiense
In reply to this post by Bounty Law
Around 2009 when I first started reading about Los Zetas, I'm obsessed with anything cartel related, it amazes me how DTO's operate with such impunity right across from the US border. I'm Canadian and anything even remotely close that does business with DTO's is in Vancouver. The whole war is a fraud and the only people suffering are the hardworking people of Mexico.
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

Mosco
In reply to this post by Bounty Law
<quote author=" ... Amidst all this I have nothing but sympathy for the majority of Mexican people, decent and hard working, who are now seeing more of their beautiful country negatively impacted by corruption and the spillover in violence.

....  Not many Australians know about the true extent of what's happening south of the US border.
</quote>
Mi. Amigo from Down Under:   First I am a Mexican-American  - bilingual and bicultural.  I first became as a kid studying the fantastic history of the Maya, Toltecs, Aztecs, Yaqui, Taramujara, etc.  In the early '80s I took a month to visit many archeological sights. I was also interested in Mexico because my dad married a Mexican woman and retired to Ocotlan ( near Guadajara) and he used to tell me stories about many things ... including government corruption. Then, I became interested in Mexican-American  heroin addicts.  

In studying heroin addicts, I, of course, learned about opium poppies, black tar heroin, and much else.  I could see looming problems in the early 1980s....but the Violent stuff seems to have started to take off around 1985 and the emergence of Latino, black, and other street gangs in  the USA.  I think street gangs are an integral factor in what has happened in Mexico and in the world.  Street gangs , thuggery, hedonism, tribal mentality, and young people with damaged lives fit in nicely as functional actors illicit drugs worlds.  

Anyway, I have for many years seen Mexico heading for deeper and deeper troubles ...even without the drugs!   Mexico is an oligarchy that pretends being a republic.... corruption has always been rife there.  Mexico was fertile ground for getting deep into narcotics and the violence that spins out from this. Finally, Mexicans have always been violent  (machismo, plus bloody history) ... So what is different now is the thugs with high powered weapons are dominant figures in everything.
Thanks for your question.... It made me think of lots of things.
I hope our BB readers chime in with their thoughts.
Mosco
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

Actual Size
In reply to this post by Bounty Law
Im from the Chicago land area and have lived around Latin kings all my life. I have seen many people get shot and still have drive by shootings by my house. My father was a former gang member as well as my aunt his sister. Thank God they both got out and my dad is a good Christian man now. My cousin was murdered in 2008 for being in a Chicago gang and his brother my other cousin is still currently a high ranking member of a Chicago street gang. So to answer the question it’s in my family sadly the gangster life style. On another note my job allows me to travel the world. I have lived in Colombia and Mexico and so I learned a lot about the Narco culture living there and then Narcos Netflix really got me into seeing the other side of the gang war. All the drug battles fought here in Chicago are usually over the Mexican drugs. I see the connection now and in my own life I have seen the devastation that gang and drug violence causes. I’m thankful to God my parents raised me right and I’m very thankful my great grandfather left Mexico in the early 20th century I could not imagine living their now as a Mexican citizen.
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

El Guero
In reply to this post by Parro
Reefer Madness...Lol.   That's the stuff that literally almost happens to me if I try to smoke the stuff they have these days.   Id need about 1mg of xanax per hit.
CRUSH YOUR ENEMIES!  GRIND THEIR BONES INTO DIRT!  MAKE THEM REGRET THEY WERE EVER BORN!
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

blanco puro
In reply to this post by El_Canadiense
El Canadiense - The cartels tentacles reach all across Canada, not just the westcoast (as you mentioned Vancouver)

Where do you think the coke and meth in Ontario comes from??
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

El_Canadiense
Oh I know, I didn't say it was only in the west coast, I know for sure all coke and meth across Canada is 95% DTO's. I just meant that the closest thing to me was Vancouver, although I have lived in Edmonton and knew a Colombian guy who I used to hang out with at the casino playing poker, he was connected and probably had easy $30,000 in jewellery and clothing on all the time. He told me he was a player and had nothing do with Mexico but moved wholesale for guys in Colombia, he was a pretty cool guy but he ended up getting pinched in Edmonton and got deported. I used to party with him and he had 2 homes in the greater Edmonton area worth at least $600,000 a piece. Also too, in Edmonton maybe back in 2013/2014 there was a bust by the RCMP that took down some players from La Familia Michoacan.

I believe most fentanyl in Canada is coming from Triads and local organizations though, that's why Vancouver has the worst fentanyl stat for deaths in the country.
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

jmulligan13
In reply to this post by Bounty Law
It was an extension of interest and research into the Mafia/LCN groups. The criminal infiltration of near every business and parts of the economy/life and historic impact. Cartels have become the more powerful and prolific organized crime groups in recent decades. The structure, business and political ties, the logistics of the groups while remaining secretive intrigue me.
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

DazedNConfused13
In reply to this post by Bounty Law
My mother in law brought a newspaper back from Chihuahua, On the front page It had the photo of the 5 decapitated heads left on a dance floor in Michoacan by LFM w/ a narcomensaje.

 My Ex-husband would always tell me stories about narcs. Being from the US, I always assumed a narc was a snitch so I thought he was talking about trigger happy, extortion ass snitches. Thinking about it now he put our lives in jeopardy many times, Every time we went to Mexico we would cruise through the fancy neighborhoods & He'd stop in front of a house and point out that the home belonged to a narco & Tell A story or 2 about them. I had even taken a picture of a street sign in that fancy neighborhood that said, Frida Kahlo, and Now looking back & Understanding the dangers... Our asses could have been killed over something so stupid.

Also, A friend of mine whose family is from Morelia had shown me some photos of some lady who had been dismembered by LFM & Told me a few stories of a few clashes between some low level LFM & Zetas...

I've always been fascinated by death, So it caught my attention. I was shocked but so curious by that one photo. It didn't scare me like when I was a teen and home alone, I'd go onto rotten{dot}com & get scared shitless just by the hand meat grinder summit, the shotgun suicide & the old lady who boiled herself in her bathtub. Since July 2010 I have visited BB religiously.
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

Chivis
Administrator
In reply to this post by Bounty Law
Self preservation.

 I moved to Mx and chose Coahuila to set up my first office as my mentor worked there.
I knew almost zero about narco activity simply that there was narcos.

Without knowing I chose a hot spot to set up shop, soon there  was a fierce battle a power struggle after osiel was arrested.

it got very ugly and  i was naive and ignorant of what was happening.  when bodies began showing up and friends disappearing.  

a friend recommended I ck out a couple of books and blogs.  BB was one.

I never left the blog if someone would have said "you'll be running it for a good 10 yr

i would have aid impossible
 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

canadiana
Administrator
In reply to this post by Bounty Law
After Chapo's hiatus of 11 years or so on the run he got caught.I googled Chapo to get more info and Borderland Beat came up.I had had a good relationship with Mexican culture previously.I had wanted a whole year where I didn't have to stop riding my motorcycle for 6 months because of a cold climate so I jaunted off on my own on a Kawasaki 900 which took me through 16 states of Mexico,3 months in Ensenada and 6 months in Mexico City in the district of Azcapotzalco La Villa.As an avid traveller of Mexico after 12 bike trips down Baja and once by private plane I noticed there were several articles on Borderland Beat besides the Chapo story and wanted to keep somewhat 'in the loop' on crime there thinking it prudent as I have never done an all inclusive in Mexico and prefer road trips so it became a habit reading BB every day so I got on and stayed on Borderland Beat as a tourist and wanting to be in the know on things going on there.
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

limeysteve
I had the best holiday of my life 2 weeks in Porto vellatta in 1999 swam with dolphins etc  ( we had armed guard on jungle trip)I came across the story about 5 heads thrown on a dance floor in  nightclub which I visited I saw that story in November 2010 with a link to borderland beat and have been on it everyday since I think it was about 2 or 3 months after I started coming to this site m3 was killed and have been very interested in the CDG/Zeta war its the 2nd or 3rd time posting stay safe fellow bb watchers

Steve from Tower Hamlets London
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Re: How did you first get interested in the Mexican drug war

Podrido
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Bounty Law
My mother associated with / hung out with members of organized crime here in Canada for quite some time, and so I was exposed to violence and criminality from a young age.

This, intermingled with a morbid fascination naturally drew me in toward learning about Mexican criminal groups among other atrocities and criminal groups / structures at large, hence the name. I can't remember exactly how I stumbled upon Borderland Beat, I think it was while I was delving into some rabbit hole reading about various historical torture techniques via region? Like Chinese, Mongolian, Arab, etc but I found this site in 2012 or 2013 or so if I remember correctly and didn't end up making an account until a few years ago.

I love learning about organized crime and the sociological aspects of it, such as understanding why people do what they do to one another, what motivates them - it seems power is the most common cause more than money when it comes to crime. The organizational and logistical aspects, as well as the sophistication is fascinating too. Fringe elements of society in general are fascinating and I have an ever growing library on weird niche often criminal subcultures. Cartels, street gangs, authoritarian regimes, islamists, etc.

Edit: Oh, also the music. I have probably over 600 Narco corridos & Narco rap songs saved away at this point.
Just a lurker.