Mexican crook: Gangsters arrange fights to death for entertainment | Top Story | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
The elderly are killed. Young women are raped. And able-bodied men are given hammers, machetes and sticks and forced to fight to the death.
In one of the most chilling revelations yet about the violence in Mexico, a drug cartel-connected trafficker claims fellow gangsters have kidnapped highway bus passengers and forced them into gladiatorlike fights to groom fresh assassins.
In an in-person interview arranged by intermediaries on the condition that neither his name nor the location of his Texas visit be published, the trafficker also admitted to helping push cocaine worth $5 million to $10 million a month into the United States.
Law enforcement sources confirm he is a cartel operative but not a fugitive from pending charges.
His words are not those of a federal agent or drawn from a news conference or court papers.
Instead, he offers a voice from inside Mexico's mayhem a mafioso who mingles among crime bosses and foot soldiers in a protracted war between drug cartels as well as against the government.
If what he says is true, gangsters who make commonplace beheadings, hangings and quartering bodies have managed an even crueler twist to their barbarity.
Members of the Zetas cartel, he says, have pushed passengers into an ancient Rome-like blood sport with a modern Mexico twist that they call, "Who is going to be the next hit man?"
"They cut guys to pieces," he said.
The victims are likely among the hundreds of people found in mass graves in recent months, he said.
In the vicinity of the Mexican city of San Fernando, nearly 200 bodies were unearthed from pits, and authorities said most appeared to have died of blunt force head trauma.
Many are believed to have been dragged off buses traveling through Mexico, but little has been said about the circumstances of their deaths.
The trafficker said those who survive are taken captive and eventually given suicide missions, such as riding into a town controlled by rivals and shooting up the place.
The trafficker said he did not see the clashes, but his fellow criminals have boasted to him of their exploits.