Gangsters in Tamaulipas turned to the box office hit movie The Avengers this week for inspiration in humiliating their victims.
The Northeast Cartel painted victims to look like characters from the blockbuster Marvel film and forced them to walk naked through the streets of Nuevo Laredo.
Images of the seven victims circulated on social media earlier in the week. There have been no arrests in the case and the identities of the victims are unknown, according to the newspaper Infobae. The incident marks the cartel’s latest use of public humiliation to intimidate people in the northern state.
In February, the gang left a man painted with a threatening message on his body in the streets of Tamaulipas. Police have suggested that the practice is a scare tactic to prevent people from leaking information to the authorities.
The Northeast Cartel, a splinter group of Los Zetas, has a stronghold over Nuevo Laredo, an important border crossing for smuggling drugs into the United States.
The cartel also made headlines recently for its threats to expand into Monterrey, Nuevo León. In March, the group hung a sign in San Pedro Garza García, a city on the outskirts of Monterrey, announcing its intention to take over the region.
The sign warned members of the rival Beltrán Leyva cartel, which currently controls Monterrey, to leave the city. The group also threatened businesses that are paying extortion to the Beltrán Leyva gang, warning them they must pay the Northeast Cartel instead.
The Northeast Cartel fractured from Los Zetas after the 2013 arrest of leader Omar Treviño. Since then, the group has built a reputation for being a major threat to northern Mexico.
Source: Infobae (sp)