A 2009 episode of the award-winning TV drama Breaking Bad depicts a scene in Mexico’s bullet-ridden border town of Ciudad Jurez: police are lured to a location to find an informant’s severed head stuck on a turtle, which itself turns out to be a booby trap that explodes, killing and maiming the law enforcers after they approach it.
Seasoned correspondents of the real drug war in Mexico thought the sequence was an over-the-top depiction of gang tactics ? until last week.
In the real Ciudad Jurez on Thursday, July 15, gangsters kidnapped a man, dressed him in a police uniform, shot him and dumped him bleeding on a downtown street. A cameraman happened to film what happened after federal police and paramedics got close. The video shows medics bent over the dumped man, checking for vital signs. Watch the video .
Suddenly a bang rings out, and the image shakes vigorously as the cameraman runs for his life. The gangsters had used a cell phone to detonate 22 lb. of C-4 explosives packed into a nearby car. A minute later, the camera turns back around to reveal the remains of a burning car, smoke over screaming victims and charred corpses. Three people, including a federal police officer, were killed, and several others injured.
Mexico’s drug war has become so brutal that nothing seems off-limits to the criminal imagination. It is as if rival cartels are competing for ever more shocking methods of execution. First, killers beheaded two policemen in April 2006. The following September, a gang threw five severed craniums onto a disco dance floor. In 2008, a rival cartel decapitated 12 victims, filmed the craniums and uploaded the video to the Internet. The same year, gangsters threw grenades into a crowd of revelers celebrating Independence Day, killing eight. Now there are the corpse decoy and car bomb.
Read the full Time article here.