Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Comical Nicknames of Mexican Drug Cartels

If in Chile there is the gang with a comical monicker "Los Cara de Pelota", and criminals like the "Tila", or the "Cizarro," in Mexico, where narco mafiosos are to be feared, this could be further from the truth.


Edgar Valdez Villarreal is probably the biggest murderer of a bloody drug cartel in this country of Mexico. His nickname "Barbie". It turns out that Valdez was born in the U.S. and has blond hair and clear eyes.



"Mando Conejo"  alias of Armando Orozco.

Like the "Barbie" in the world of cartels, there are other more common names like "Mono" or "Gordo" and other more cryptic like "Mando Conejo." That is the alias that the authorities still do not know what it means, Armando Santiago Orozco, captured in January in Oaxaca.

The nicknames of the narcos can be striking and surreal threatening or innocent. Some reflect the range of a bully, while others come from their days of school. They can also refer to their reputation, as in the case of a mafioso known as "El más loco" verses just plain "loco."



"El Ostión" alias of sicario Israel Nava.

In the case of the "innocent" is the "Ostión", the nickname of sicario Israel Nava, killed in April in the northern part of the country, and so named from school because his father had a job where he sold fish.

By contrast, Los Zetas, former military soldiers are assigned nicknames with the letter Z, followed by a number. For example, "Z1" through "Z10" corresponds to the founding members.

"Nicknames for the cartels are like a second baptism, an incorporation in to the criminal world," says Homero Aridjis, author of the novel "Sicarios."

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