Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the popular SB 1070 into law, was roundly criticized for stating that headless bodies were found in the Arizona desert. Her comments emphasized the fact that ruthless Mexican drug cartels stop at nothing to send their message.
It appears her statements have been vindicated.
The body of Martin Alejandro Cota-Monroy was recently found — not in the desert — but in an apartment in Chandler, a community outside of Phoenix. He was stabbed and beheaded, with his severed head a couple feet away. One man suspected in the killing has been arrested, and a manhunt is under way for three others.
“If it does turn out to be a drug cartel out of Mexico, typically that’s a message being sent,” according to a Chandler police detective. “This person was chosen to be executed. It sends a message to other people: If you cross us, this is what happens.”
Myway News reports that decapitations are a regular part of the drug war in Mexico as cartels fight over territory. Headless bodies have been hanged from bridges by their feet, severed heads have been sent to victims’ family members and government officials, and bags of up to 12 heads have been dropped off in high-profile locations.
More than 28,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence since December 2006.