Mexico’s grisly crime scene was brought into the limelight after the capture of Mexican drug lord Miguel Angel Treviño Morales.
But many people believe that the country’s criminal justice system is what deserves an investigation.
In Mexico’s savage drug wars, the innocent are not only shot, dismembered or hanged from overpasses but they are also falsely accused of crimes and their horrific deaths are never investigated.
Last year alone, about 27,500 people were murdered in Mexico. Most of the homicides took place in border regions where the biggest and bloodiest drug cartels, such as Los Zetas and the Sinaloa, reign.
Thousands of people, both men, women and children, have simply disappeared, the victims of drug smuggling, kidnappings and forced prostitution. The murdered were often hacked to pieces or burned, leaving Mexico with more than 16,000 unidentified bodies.
According to a recent report from Mexico’s central statistics bureau (INEGI), only 523 murders resulted in a sentence. That means a sobering 98 percent of the 27,500 murders in Mexico last year went unsolved.
Because corruption is so deeply embedded in virtually all law enforcement agencies, the majority of all cases are immediately considered closed.
“The authorities will allege that the people being murdered are related to drug cartels, and it’s just not true,” said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a professor at the University of Texas in Brownsville, who also does cartel violence research in Mexico’s troubled border areas.
Most often, the authorities get their information straight from the killers, in the form of notes left near the bodies or sometimes stuck to them with ice picks.
Between 2005 and 2011, at least 60,000 people are believed to have been killed in connection with drug cartels.
In the past decade, more Americans have been murdered in Mexico than in any other part of the world.
According to an Agence France Press analysis of U.S. State Department figures, at least 648 American citizens were murdered in Mexico between October 2002 and December 2012. This represents more than 40 percent of the almost 1,600 American victims worldwide over the same period.