Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #13: Man Crucified in Michoacán, Mexico

Primary Mexican news sources are provided for research and translation validation purposes. The incident synopsis and analysis is in English.

Key Information: Localizan a un hombre crucificado en Michoacán Por: Redacción / Sinembargo - septiembre 7 de 2012, http://www.sinembargo.mx/07-09-2012/360135.

Morelia, 7 Sep. (Notimex).- Un hombre que había sido acusado de violar a una mujer apareció crucificado, en el municipio de Contepec, informó la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE).

El ahora occiso, quien fue identificado como Eladio Martínez Cruz, de 24 años de edad, fue localizado este viernes amarrado en forma de cruz de un madero de casi dos metros de largo y un poste de un señalamiento vial.

El informe ministerial señaló que el cuerpo presentaba huellas de tortura y junto a él había un letrero.

Sobre los hechos se dio a conocer que Martínez Cruz se encontraba relacionado con la violación de una mujer, hechos ocurridos el 3 de septiembre en las inmediaciones de una fábrica de Contepec.

Key Information: Vengadores Anónimos Crucifican a Violador en Michoacán, Sábado, Sepriembre 08, 2012.

 See the picture at this site [Note— it is graphic][1]

Contepec, Michoacán.- Un sujeto acusado de ultrajar a una mujer fue torturado y crucificado en un señalamiento vial de un crucero de esta población, en el que los homicidas le dejaron una cartulina clavada con dos picahielos en el pecho, con una advertencia a los violadores, dedos y traidores.

Todo se desprende de la denuncia penal formulada por la mujer agraviada, de la que se omite su identidad por razones obvias, en la que señaló ante las autoridades que el pasado tres del mes en curso, ella salió de trabajar poco después de las 18:00 horas en una fábrica de esta localidad.

Cuando de pronto, en el trayecto le salió al paso un sujeto que la amagó con un cuchillo y la sometió para cometer sus más bajos instintos, sin embargo, la víctima pudo identificar a su agresor y ante ello el fiscal inició la averiguación previa penal que el caso ameritaba.

De acuerdo con la Procuraduría General de Justicia de Michoacán, el jueves pasado agentes de dicho municipio del oriente michoacano, detuvieron y trasladaban en una patrulla a un sujeto, identificado como Eladio Martínez Cruz.

La finalidad del traslado era confirmar si el individuo había participado en la violación; sin embargo, en el trayecto a la comisaría y justo a la altura de la desviación hacia Atotonilco, dos camionetas con varios sujetos armados, le cerraron el paso a la unidad de la Dirección de Seguridad Pública.

Enseguida sometieron a los gendarmes y subieron por la fuerza al arrestado a uno de los automotores, para darse a la fuga con dirección al Estado de México.

Este viernes, cerca de las 08:00 horas, la Policía Municipal recibió en su base una llamada anónima en la que les informaban que en el poste de señalamientos viales, ubicado en el crucero que conduce a la comunidad El Césped, estaba una persona colgada y muerta.

Por lo anterior le dieron parte a la Policía Ministerial cuyos agentes acompañaron al Ministerio Público para realizar las diligencias necesarias, encontrando a la persona del sexo masculino amarrada de ambos brazos a una tabla de aproximadamente dos metros de largo, la cual subieron con un lazo de plástico hasta la punta del poste, además de que los homicidas lo torturaron y le cercenaron el pene para colocárselo en la boca.

También, al infortunado le clavaron con dos picahielos, una cartulina en el pecho en el que le escribieron un mensaje que dice, “esto me pasó por violador y esto le va a pasar a todos los chismosos, dedos traidores sépanlo que esto no es un juego”.

Finalmente se supo que el hombre colgado fue identificado como Eladio Martínez Cruz y era el mismo presunto violador que les fue arrebatado a los policías.

Who: Eladio Martinez Cruz, 24 years old, who was tortured-killed.

What: The first cartel related crucifixion to take place in Mexico.

When:  The deceased was found Friday 7 September 2012.

Where: At a “T” in the road on a large traffic sign in front of what appears to be a cornfield. This incident took place in the municipality of Contepec, Michoacán, roughly 45 miles East and slightly North of Morelia, Michoacán and 50 miles North-West of Mexico City.

Why: The deceased was alleged to have raped a women near a factory in Contepec, Michoacán and as a result was executed by cartel operatives.

Synopsis: The deceased, Eladio Martinez Cruz, had been the subject of the criminal complaint of rape by a female victim, whom he had threatened with a knife, and was taken into custody by local police officers on Thursday 6 September 2012. On the way to the police station, armed men in two vehicles blocked the police officers and forcibly seized Martinez Cruz. They then drove off with him in the direction of the State of Mexico. At 8:00 AM on Friday 7 September 2012, the municipal police were notified by an anonymous caller that a dead man was hanging from a large traffic sign next to a road. The municipal police, accompanied by the ministerial police, investigated the call and discovered the deceased who was identified as Martinez Cruz. The deceased, who was found naked, had shown signs of torture and was crucified about 18 feet above the ground—his arms were tied to a wooden pole (with rope or cloth) secured by a rope hoisted over the top of a large traffic sign. The rope securing the wooden pole holding the individual was then wrapped around the metal pole securing the sign multiple times and then was tied off near the ground. The male genitalia (penis) was severed and placed in the mouth of the deceased. A pink cardboard placard with a narco message (narcomensaje) was affixed to the deceased via two ice picks plunged into his chest. It read “esto me pasó por violador y esto le va a pasar a todos los chismosos, dedos traidores sépanlo que esto no es un juego” which identified him as a rapist and threatened gossips, traitors, and thieves that this is not a game [Note—looking for a more precise translation].

Analysis: Individuals hung from traffic signs and from freeway underpasses is quite common in the plazas and areas of Mexico where the cartels operate. Typically, a rope or cable is tied around the deceased’s neck or the ankles. An accompanying narco message (narcomensaje) is frequently found with the deceased and evidence of torture is quite common. What is unique about this incident is that it is the first recorded cartel crucifixion to take place in Mexico. It would have been more expedient to simply hang Martinez Cruz by a rope over the traffic sign but instead the time and effort was taken to symbolically crucify him. This act, along with the accompanying narco message, the way in which the alleged rapist was forcibly taken from police custody, the severing of the male genitalia, and the fact that the incident took place in Michoacán all provide a “contextual basis” which suggests that elements of either La Familia or Los Caballeros Templarios (the Knights Templars) splinter group/successor are involved with this abduction and subsequent torture-killing. Both groups in the past have carried out public humiliations and torture-killings against those they deem as undesirables and threats to civil society. Viewing themselves as protectors of the citizenry of Michoacán, both groups, which expose cult-like Christian beliefs, would thus likely view such a symbolic crucifixion as indicative of god’s judgment on a sinner. If this interpretation is accurate, then this barbaric incident would represent another small escalation in radicalized Christian cult-like behaviors emerging in Michoacán.

Addendum: A recent precedent for the threat of Christians crucifying others in Mexico exists.  In September 2011, seventy evangelical protestants were forced to flee from the village of San Rafael Tlanalapan, about 45 miles West of Mexico City, after being threatened with lynching and crucifixion if they remained in the village. The instigator of the threat was Father Ascensión González Solís, the local parish priest, who was subsequently forced to retire.[2]

Significance: Barbarism; Los Caballeros Templarios; Dark Spirituality; La Familia; Spiritual Insurgency

Source(s):

1. For a more detailed photo see “Torturan, ejecutan y crucifican a violador en Michoacán.” Blog del Narco, Sábado, 8 de septiembre de 2012, http://www.blogdelnarco.com/2012/09/torturan-ejecutan-y-crucifican-a-vio....

2. “Agreement in Mexican village where Protestants were threatened with crucifixion.” Catholic World News. 4 October 2011, http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=11945. See also “Mexico Evangelicals Leave Village Amid Crucifixion Threats.” Worthy News. 20 September 2011, http://www.worthynews.com/10963-mexico-evangelicals-leave-village-amid-c.... For a primary Spanish language source see Yadira Llavén, “Católicos amagan con linchar y crucificar a evangélicos.” La Jornada, Viernes 9 de septiembre de 2011, p. 37., http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2011/09/09/estados/037n2est.

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Tags : El Centro, Mexican Cartel Note, Tactical Note

Comments

Appears to be a mechanism by which to buy political legitimacy. Note statements still have profit-seeking implications. Individual was not a traitor or "snitch" but the narcomanta still serves as a warning to enemies of business operations. Serves as another example of violence with high media value. Great writeup.

Sounds a lot like Taliban shadow gov to me.

Yes, this crucification = barbarization + a political statement (info ops); it is a TTP characteristic of insurgency.

Here specifically, we see "social banditry" as a component of Mexico's "criminal insurgency." Take a look at the following from "El Blog del Narco":

--Los Caballeros Templarios Crucifican a violador y le clavan mensaje en el pecho http://goo.gl/fb/X39wl #michoacán

This conforms to Dr Bunker and my writings on the situation in Mexico and Latin America as described in our SWJ/El Centro anthology "Mexico's Criminal Insurgency: A Small Wars Journal-El Centro Anthology" at http://www.amazon.com/Mexicos-Criminal-Insurgency-Journal-El-Anthology/d... .

See also my paper "From Drug Wars to Criminal Insurgency:Mexican Cartels, Criminal Enclaves and Criminal Insurgency in Mexico and Central America, and their Implications for Global Security" at http://www.scivortex.org/6FromDrugWarsCriminalInsurgency.pdf. JPS

Dr. Bunker,

Unless I'm misreading the article the cartel operatives forceably took into custody from the police an alleged rapist. Apparently they didn't kill the police, so it seems to me what is more important than the method of killing of the victim is the purpose of the killing. This was not an attack on a snitch, a competitor, or state official, but a common criminal. The purpose of the attack appears to be political (shadow or not so shadowly government) by demonstrating to the common man that they will dispense justice in the region, not the state. In this case they protected the common man (assuming the suspect was actually guilty). If this is true, then this is looking more and more like an insurgency, versus just voilent activity to secure business interests. They're goal appears to be replace the government or aspects of it.