NUEVO LAREDO, Tamaulipas – Cartel gunmen humiliated their victims by spray-painting and forcing them to walk nude along city streets in styles similar to characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Victims of such treatment are typically citizen journalists who dare to record cartel shootouts.
The public humiliation took place this week in downtown Nuevo Laredo, just south of Laredo, Texas. Members of the Cartel Del Noreste (CDN) faction of Los Zetas paraded their nude victims as a form of punishment. The gunmen then shared on social media a video of the spray-painted locals with dubbed sound effects similar to the Avengers films. Unlike previous demonstrations, the CDN did not issue a statement explaining their motives.
The CDN has worked to suppress citizen journalists from circulating videos of the many gun battles in the cartel-controlled city. Days ago, a woman in Laredo, Texas, was injured by a bullet that authorities believe was fired from the Mexican side of the border. In recent weeks, the CDN set numerous roadblocks throughout the busy city–bringing commercial and passenger traffic to a halt.
For years, citizen journalists in the region have served as the only means of breaking the cartel-imposed muzzle on local media. In Nuevo Laredo, the CDN maintains absolute control over local outlets and is able to suppress coverage of cartel violence. The cartel gunmen also use misinformation tactics to blame the consequences of criminal violence on law enforcement and military officials. The tactic duped United Nations officials into critiquing Mexican military forces. In addition to using the media for political gain, the CDN has leveraged local outlets into praising their so-called charity works. The nearby Gulf Cartel has also shown a willingness to engage in pop culture. In 2018, several gunmen took part in a viral video dance challenge.
Editor’s Note: Breitbart News traveled to the Mexican States of Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Nuevo León to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities. The writers would face certain death at the hands of the various cartels that operate in those areas including the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by “A.C. Del Angel” from Tamaulipas.