Report: Drug traffickers staging gladiatorlike fights with captives
Mexican authorities exhume bodies from a mass grave in Acapulco last week.
June 15th, 2011
10:41 AM ET

Report: Drug traffickers staging gladiatorlike fights with captives

Drug traffickers in Mexico have been abducting bus passengers and forcing them to fight each other like gladiators with the winners being ordered to become assassins, a drug trafficker tells the Houston Chronicle.

The fights, initiated by members of the Zetas cartel, are called "Who's going to be the next hitman?" said the trafficker, who agreed to talk to the Chronicle on condition of anonymity.

The gladiators use machetes, hammers and sticks. "They cut guys to pieces," the paper quotes the trafficker as saying.

The winners are sent by the Zetas on suicide missions to shoot up the territory of rivals, the trafficker told the Chronicle. The losers end up in mass graves.

The trafficker said he was not a witness to the fights but gang emembers told him about them.

Federal law enforcement officials told the Chronicle they did not know of any gladiator fights, but they said the trafficker's story was plausible given the escalating violence in Mexico.

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Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Mexico
soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. Riff*Raff

    It's Zetas SOP to recruit teenagers for the "mob hits". (CNN censors the real word) I recently watched a doc about a kid named Reta, who is in prison in TX-recruited at 13, arrested at 16, now aged 19. He claims 30 deaths in total that he's responsible for-but only convicted of 1. They like them young when they have no sense of consequences for their actions. He and two others were in charge of Laredo(TX) and Nuevo Laredo(Mexico)-the main pipeline for cocaine & heroin trafficking. Listening to his cold interview-it was just a job to him- at this point I'm willing to believe they will do anything to accomplish their goals or simply for entertainment. BTW- the Zeta Cartel are former military/cops who changed sides when they realized there was more money to make on the other side of the law. Hence the level of corruption and the inability for the country to get it under control.

    June 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • tokyo joe

      SO we spend billions on dropping bombs on Libya to protect the civilians and we let our next door neighbors go to hell

      June 15, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      they don't have to be young to be stupid.

      June 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      Correction: We directly cause our next door neighbor to go to hell with our absurd drug policies. Why should I care if someone is buying something that hurts them. Sell it, tax it all, just like alcohol and tobacco.

      The only reason these criminal organizations exist is because we artifically inflate the value of their product by making it ilegal. The same thing happened in the 20's with prohibition and Al Capone.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean


      It’s our fault Mexico is a chit hole huh? So what is your explanation for Canada eh?

      June 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Funky-face

      What do you mean "CNN censors the real world"? By telling the story of people being abducted and forced to fight in gladiator fights rather than telling stories of kids being used as hitmen?? How is that censorship – you dont make any sense.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikeyd74

      he said "word"... thx for reading

      June 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Riff*Raff

      @Funky-I meant the other word for hired killers that starts with an "A" is censored by the filter. Nothing more than that. No conspiracy, hence my use of "Mob Hits" instead.Sorry for the confusion.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. Maurice

    True Chaotic Evil this is. Perfect example. I do however see the capitalist opportunity in making prisoners, be them convicts or POWs, fight like gladiators on Pay-Per-View. It hasn't happened yet in USA, but with the moral decay of society it is only a matter of time.

    June 15, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jingoistic Drum Banger

      that wb great

      pay per view death matches

      June 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • tokyo joe


      June 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      It's called Running Man and stars the former governor of CA.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    They're returning to the sins of their forefathers, the Incas. They were brutal too.

    June 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Not a raciest, but a religionist. People murder others because they are evil and have not been changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why the ancient Incas, and other pagan societies, sacrificed children alive on their alters, and that is why we slaughter our children in abortion mills.

      June 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jingoistic Drum Banger

      crazy man
      what's shaking?
      did yoou bond out?

      June 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd

      Yeah, because christ eaters NEVER kill in Jesus' name, right? The Crusades, the Inquisition?

      You want more recent? How about that fun little war in Serbia where the christians killed the Moslems?

      How about in Uganda where Christians are killing gays?

      Get your head out of Uranus and take a look at the world.

      June 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Siyajkak

      The Inca were from Peru, and did not regularly practice human sacrifice. The Aztecs, Toltecs, Teotihuacanos, Maya, Tepanec, Totonac, Olmec, Be'ena'a, Ben Zaa, P'Uripecha, Otomi, Huaxtec, and Chichimec are from Mexico, along with countless other cultures. Some of these cultures did indeed commite sacrifice, but it was of willing POWs and other volunteers for the most part, as it was believed that to sacrifice yourself for the betterment of the world and the glory of the gods was a free ticket to heaven. Very similar to Christian ideology, where helping others and praising God are the keys to salvation. These disgusting gladiator fights, like those of ancient Rome, are sadist, and born of sadism, not religion or culture or heritage. simply evil. Has it also not occurred to you that the almost everyone in Mexico (and Peru, if you still want to stick to the Inca) are Roman Catholic?

      June 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      Which bunch was it that the Spanish wiped out? They were not exactly Florence Nightingale types.

      June 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • max

      Christian faith-based violence has resulted in more bloodshed than any other religion in the world. Get your facts straight.

      June 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sixoh

      Yeah and for what? These are innocent people going about their lives that are kidnapped and forced into this.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sixoh

      I love Godless types like Max and Todd who say Christianity as, has been and always will be the main problem in the world. Talk about people with blinders on, it's these guys. Along with the obvious hate.
      Now, if they are Godless, AND hate, then doesn't that prove you don't need to be a Christian to hate?
      THAT'S the real problem of the world. True Christianity (and any religion in pure form) is to share brotherhood with the world, not kill in the name of one god or another.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean


      Typical Xtian response. Attack the person instead of responding to a fact you don’t want to hear.

      And for the record every group thinks theirs is the ‘purest’, ‘real’ and “truest’ way.

      I don’t hate you. I pity you.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • lance corporal

      hopefully they won't get as violent and depraved as christians have in the past

      June 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mark

    Hey, I'd pay to see that!

    June 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • lance corporal

      don't procreate please

      June 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Seriously?

    @Kevin M:

    So isolationism is the answer?
    Hmm, well if it's good enough for Iran and North Korea guess it's good enough for us too!

    June 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. heerobya

    This is the US needs to secure our borders and end foreign aid.

    The rest of the world needs to learn some basic human dignity and respect, we will never be able to force it upon them. Until they do, let them kill each other off like animals. We'll sit safely and securing in our bubble of freedom, democracy, and justice.

    Well, we WOULD because our bubble is bursting due to our involvement in foreign affairs and trying to help these people that are obviously incapable of helping themselves or acting like human beings.

    June 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • heerobya

      Isolationism was the doctrine supported by the founding fathers of the US. We were never meant to be the world's police and a force of forceful morality to the world... especially since we have totally and completely lost any moral high ground we ever had.

      We never even really deserved to be given the moral high ground in the first place.

      We need to learn to stay out of the affairs of these barbaric animals. Let these proto-human animals kill each other off and those of us evolved enough to understand the difference between right and wrong can prosper and thrive without throwing all of our resources at people who are incapable of helping themselves.

      June 15, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • zone213

      and whats wrong with lady liberty pulling out a desert eagle and putting one in the coconuts of all the "proto-humans"
      out there on this earth who attack and kill and destroy the lives of so many good people who deserve protection and a chance at the peaceful life they dream of

      isolationism is a childs dream
      you cant just allow cancer clusters to develop in your other organs because your heads in the clouds in lala land USA

      June 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. WWRRD

    This is pretty much pure evil if it is true. I would start fining every US person found guilty of drug possesion 50% of their annual income. Use the money to seal the border and shut down the trade. American demand would plummet if it cost them in the wallet. The poor street folks wouldn't have to pay much but all those suburbanite and well users who create this huge demand should bear the cost of the pain they inflict.

    And don't even start the legalization crap. It's all bunk. Reduced productivity, impaired driving, lung cancer, pathway to harder narcotics, Poor grades for high school students. There's way more bad than good with this.

    June 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      Only stupid people use drugs.

      Only a different kind of stupid people think we should have laws to protect stupid people from themselves.

      Legalize it all. Harsher criminal penalties only raise the price people will pay, raising the value of product, raising the violent lengths which people are willing to go to protect that money.

      You will never decrease demand by increasing penalities. You cant legislate away stupidity.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • irene

      We should make stupidity illegal and deport you pro-drug-war guys to Mexico!

      June 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Wow, you just used EVERY inaccurate and misinformed argument against drugs ever invented.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jrod

    all bloggers are gay except me!

    June 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • lance corporal

      then why are you sucking my d–ck ?

      June 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Alan

    Coming to a border state near you.....

    June 15, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rizzo

    "Only stupid people use drugs."
    Only stupid people say "Only stupid people use drugs.". There, I can call you stupid too, stupid.

    June 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dumbo

    I'm surprised nobody has blamed George Bush for this yet.

    June 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • nosferatu

      Mission accomplished.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sixoh

    Mexico made drugs legal. Now look at it.

    You people who want to legalize it are selfish. It's illegal bc of what it does to society as a whole, not what it does to Joe-stoner down the street. Drugs need to be done away with. There will always be a certain group of people who can't handle themselves, regardless of the trigger, but this is bad.

    I have no sympathy for anyone involved in drugs, including meth-head moms and out of work crackheads.

    June 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      Alcohol is a drug. This is a fact.

      What happened when we made alcohol ilegal? Violent crime, Al Capone, massive corruption, the 1920's.

      What happened when we made it legal again? Stupid people still use it in stupid ways... but none of them are paying criminals that gun down people in the street with a tommy gun to get it.

      You cannot legislate away stupidity. Make it all legal. Let people make their own choices and eliminate these violent criminal organizations in the process.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. irene

    Legalilze drugs and all this will go away. The war on drugs has failed just like our wars in Viet Nam, Iraq, & Afghanistan. We haven't won a war since WW11 – Maybe we should stop declaring war altogether, bring our troops home (including the 50,000 still in Germany) and guard our borders.

    June 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      The Roman numeral is an upper case I. World War 11 hasn't happen yet.

      Just sayin*

      June 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jj

    Tickle tickle ur bum

    June 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Denizen Kate

    Mexican President Calderon continuously scolds the US for everything from our strict immigration laws to our selling weapons to the drug cartels. I would like to ask him what he's doing to make Mexico a good place to live? It isn't even a nice place to visit anymore. My friends and I used to drive down to Rosarito Beach two or three times per year, to spend money and have a good time. We haven't been there since 2002 because it has become so dangerous on the one hand, and so difficult and time-consuming to come back across the border on the other hand. Legalize cannabis on a national level and watch how fast the drug cartels go out of business.

    June 15, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
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