While being presented to the press by the Federal Police in Itztapalapa, it was hard not to miss Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal's tranquility as he stood with confidence, facing the cameras, with an arrogant "I know something you don't know" smirk on his face.
Valdez Villareal, considered one of the most violent sicarios in Mexico exuded nothing but confidence and tranquility as he descended handcuffed from a Federal police hummer, wearing the same clothes shown in his initial arrest photo yesterday, and turned to the cameras to smile.
While Valdez Villarreal's demeanor was certainly not normal under his current situation, it is not the first time it has been seen within the world of drug trafficking.
Almost three years ago, Sandra Ávila Beltrán, La Reina del Pacífico, displayed the same behavior, after being arrested in Mexico City in 2007.
On Sept. 28, 2007, more than 30 Mexican federal agents swarmed into a diner where she was having coffee and arrested her. She coolly asked the agents to let her freshen her makeup before the police filmed her transfer to jail. On the videotape, she tosses her hair and smiles for the camera, strutting in tight jeans and spiked heels, on the arm of an agent.
In a later tape of her being questioned by the police, she describes herself as a housewife who earns a little money on the side “selling clothes, houses.” Asked why she had been arrested, she responds with nonchalance: “Because of an extradition order to the United States.”
According to the psychiatrist Felix Aranday Cortes, a member of the Ramon de la Fuente National Institute of Psychiatry, this type of behavior has nothing to do with fearlessness, but is actually a sign of dissociation and commonly found in sociopaths under intense stress.
These people live in a constant state of here and now. They are manipulative and have a grandiose sense of self. They are callous and lack remorse. They do not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. The dissociation derives from never acknowledging harm done. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way. They are, in their minds, untouchable and above any and all laws.