Well, it’s a change of pace: criminal violence instead of religious violence.
We have testimony from people who say they participated in the crime. They described some 50 trucks arriving in Allende, carrying people connected to the cartel. They broke into houses, they looted them and burned them. Afterward, they kidnapped the people who lived in those houses and took them to a ranch just outside of Allende.
First they killed them. They put them inside a storage shed filled with hay. They doused them with fuel and lit them on fire, feeding the flames for hours and hours.
José Juan Morales Investigative director for the disappeared in the Coahuila State Prosecutor’s Office
Basically, there was a leak of critical information. Which lead to a nasty backlash.
In March 2011 gunmen from the Zetas cartel, one of the most violent drug trafficking organizations in the world, swept through Allende and nearby towns like a flash flood, demolishing homes and businesses and kidnapping and killing dozens, possibly hundreds, of men, women and children.
The destruction and disappearances went on in fits and starts for weeks. Only a few of the victims’ relatives — mostly those who didn’t live in Allende or had fled — dared to seek help. “I would like to make clear that Allende looks like a war zone,” reads one missing person report. “Most people who I questioned about my relatives responded that I shouldn’t go on looking for them because outsiders were not wanted, and were disappeared.”
People learn not to talk, in places like the Mexican border… or the Six Subsectors, for that matter. They also learn not to trust the big guys with their big promises, be they Americans today, or the Imperials tomorrow.
But they might trust a local team, with a solid reputation for effectiveness and discretion.
For more on the 2011 Zetas massacre, go here.