United States May Have Indirectly Caused The Massacre Of Hundreds In Mexico

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Mexico is known for having a lot of rough parts around town. In 2011, Allende proved to be one of the hotbeds for violence and indiscriminate killing in the country. Some time that year the notorious Zetas cartel went on a murderous rampage that engulfed the entire Allende area and even reached adjacent towns. Investigators suspected the death count to have ranged from dozens to hundreds of people. As Mexico went through one of its longest standing cultural events, the Day of the Dead, the recent bloodbath took on a terrifying significance.

The cartel not only murdered innocent people without regard for age or gender or anything else, but they also destroyed houses and business establishments all over town. In fact, the Zetas group was apparently ready for an all-out war with the authorities since they even demolished structures near the police station, the fire department, and some military outposts. The physical violence was also taken to be a serious political statement against the Mexican government, as one of the obliterated houses was just across where the mayor of Allende lived. 

Analysts say, however, that all this destruction must not mask the true origins of the massacre. Yes, for all intents and purposes, this was a drug war and Mexico has been plagued with drugs issues for a long time. The Allende massacre, though, had its beginnings in an unexpected coup scored by the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). After several reconnaissance operations concluded, the DEA ended up communicating with a high-level Zetas crony and managed to convert the drug dealer into a U.S. operative. The ex-Zetas personnel gave the DEA the traceable mobile phone numbers of two of the cartel’s most important drug lords, Miguel Angel Treviňo, as well as his brother Omar.

With this crucial data, DEA officials decided to put everything on the line. They immediately contacted Mexican police officers who then offered the services of one of their federal agents. There was one big problem, though: the agent was known to be unreliable in keeping classified information classified. Nonetheless, the DEA went for it. True enough, it backfired. The Zetas cartel found out about the double-crossing almost as soon as the DEA got the Mexican police involved. This led to a man hunt for not only the exact people who betrayed the drug-pushing group, but also for every single person related to them by blood, friendship, or whatever it may be.

As may be expected, not much was done years after the brutal killings. At best, the efforts of the law enforcers of the Mexican town, and of Mexico in general, have been preliminary. The DEA eventually helped put an end to the Allende crisis and to capture the Treviňos in order to restore momentary peace, but neither they nor the U.S. Federal Government ever acknowledged the role they had played in starting the town war that left hundreds either dead or missing.

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Liz Chang

Staff Writer

Liz is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. She studied English at Scripps College. She's written plays and novels.