As Mexico’s drug violence gets grittier, so do cartel nicknames

August 9, 2012

The Washington Post, 8/9/12

As Mexico’s drug violence gets bloodier, with cartels competing to leave ever-bigger piles of slaughtered victims, drug traffickers are being tagged with ever-grittier, low-brow nicknames to reflect their impersonal, almost industrial style of violence…

“What we’re seeing today is a different kind of nickname, that reflects a different way of criminals identifying themselves, and these new forms of violence,” said Martin Barron, en expert in criminology at Mexico’s National Institute for Penal Sciences…

Even more chilling are the nicknames considered so dangerous that no one even dares to pronounce them, Barron notes.

Mauricio Guizar, an alleged regional leader of the Zetas in southern Mexico arrested in July, was nicknamed “Yellow” (El Amarillo) in an apparent reference to his skin color. But the Mexican navy says many just called him “The Color,” apparently because even mentioning his name was considered off limits.

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