Five human heads found at Acapulco, Mexico primary school, in presumed drug cartel mass killing

Photo: A relative reacts after his arrival at a crime scene where a man was shot dead in Acapulco two days ago. According to local media, unidentified gunmen opened fire on a DVD and music salesman. The next day, the charred and headless remains of five people were found in the same city. And today, five disembodied heads, presumably the same victims, were discovered near a primary school nearby. [REUTERS]

In the Mexican city of Acapulco, where violence related to drug cartels has been escalating in recent weeks, police today found five decomposing human heads outside the Benito Juarez primary school [Google Maps link]. Armed men placed a wooden box outside the school early Tuesday, with a white cloth sack inside containing the severed heads and four handwritten cards inside threatening local officials and drug traffickers. The earliest reports appeared at the Milenio news website.

Prensa Latina reports that teachers in Acapulco schools have increasingly become the target of extortion demands, prompting the closure of schools and causing many teachers and children to stay away in fear. Just 200 feet from where the gruesome discovery was made today, a group of Mexican federal troops are stationed. More from

The discovery occurred in full view of young students and pedestrians, sparking fear in the area. Soldiers and police removed the remains and cordoned off the location.

Yesterday in the same city - a major port and tourist resort on Mexico's Pacific coast - police found five decapitated bodies: three badly burned inside a pickup truck, and two others outside the vehicle.

More:, Associated Press, Sol de Acapulco, Telemundo Dallas, Univision.

(Photo: Javier Trujillo/Millenium; via Warren Ellis)


  1. oohhh….the last time I commented on the topic of narco-butchery I got so worked up I took a weekend away from the Internet.

    So, now I got it all figured out.  No more Mr. Nice Country, no indeed: send in The Marines, Seal Team 6, 7, 8…all of ’em.  Land a spearhead on the Yucatan Peninsula and send in Central American mercenaries and allied forces with promises of distribution rights.  Anything that looks remotely like a plant gets Napalmed to cinders and ash.  We can fund a counter-insurgency while convincing the global community to enforce economic sanctions.  You strangling and starving a country and it’s people into ruin we can enforce and control a freer and more democratic drug free paradise.

    Because (of course) by torturing and killing those that would torture and kill; we can insure that no-one will be tortured and killed ever again.

    I…I really just need to watch ThunderLolCats and call it a day….this fucking place: when my time comes and in the afterlife my sinners heart is weighed; after which I (undoubtedly) fail and St Peter or Satan or Zeus says ‘why were you so bad?!’  I’m going to point back at this ape infested rock and declare ‘That. is not. my fault.  I tried to not make it any worse; but I didn’t create it.’

    I need a cookie and a kindly animal to hug.  Or a narco-terrorist to flay. that wouldn’t really help…sorry.

    1. I feel as passionately about this as you do, but then I recall that it is the US and Canada’s demand for drugs that empowers these guys.

      We created the problem through ignorance and denial, and now will solve it with cowboy violence?

      What a world.

  2. I know I make the same comment on every post about the Mexican drug war here but… did you know the Mexican military and other security forces are using bogus UK-made weapon/drug/bomb detectors against the cartels?

    In other words, the army is relying on these glorified dowsing rods to help them find the weapons these criminals use.

    Just google gt200 + detector. You’ll see just how ridiculous and stupid this war is.

  3. The intelligent thing to do would be to end prohibition and take away their enormous profits.  But we all know that’s not going to happen

  4. Irrelevant commentary: Isn’t that a wooden crate the heads are in?

    A wooden crate with five more heads. At least partly the responsibility of the US’s failed war on drugs.
    Growing numbers of Mexican and U.S. officials say—at least privately—that the biggest step in hurting the business operations of Mexican cartels would be simply to legalize their main product: marijuana. Long the world’s most popular illegal drug, marijuana accounts for more than half the revenues of Mexican cartels.
    “Economically, there is no argument or solution other than legalization, at least of marijuana,” said the top Mexican official matter-of-factly.

    ^This is from 2009 and yet idiotic stubborn attitudes based on ignorance alone continue. I’m so tired of dumb-ass people holding America back.

  5. Legalizing drugs in the U.S. isn’t going to put an end to this.

    The gangs will lose some of their income, but they won’t instantly go out of business and become hard-working wholesome citizens.

    1. You should read up on some real facts and evidence in regards to that instead of just steering blindly with your “feelerbone”. I highly recommend “Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out” by Mike Gray, which outlines quite a number of useful studies and real-world measures that have already been tried in order to help with the problems – which ones fail, and which work. This one:

      1. I second that…. Drug Crazy is a great book that changed the lens I use when viewing the US War on Drugs, and drugs in general.  

        I think it is on the Kindle too…

  6. Tell me again why we (the U.S.) haven’t just rolled into Mexico with tanks & jets?  Why are we so concerned with humanitarian efforts in other countries yet turn a blind eye to this cesspool right outside our own backdoor?  And where do the refugees go – right across the northern border.

    We’ll have plenty of military resources as we pull out of Iraq – let’s keep those men & women busy!

    1. Answer: Because we’re not concerned with humanitarian efforts.

      Once this stuff starts spilling into American streets, people will pay attention.  You think they’re upset over a few Mexicans stealing healthcare?  Just wait till we have full-on gun battles in American streets.

    2. Because nations don’t go to war for sentimental reasons, but for (perceived) strategic advantage.

      I agree with you in principle though. But I’ll bet you’d find it was as futile a war as Iraq or anywhere else. You must cut the weed out at the root – the US and Canada want to smoke dope, and we should be bloody well making it ourselves.

      1. You’re right, but I think at this point we need to draw a distinction between the reason nations go to war and how that nation sells the war to its people. 

        I’m not going to go on about Iraq/Afghanistan being all about oil as that’s only part of it.  I will say that we probably didn’t go in because we wanted to spread freedom, unless we’re planning to swing by North Korea and Africa on the way back. 

  7. the US already controls the mexican oil reserves. in fact keeping the country in the sorry ass state it is in, where most towns apart from the central cities are basically 3rd world category helps to keep their oil demand down, so there is more for the US to import. 

    the US are more likely to send troops into canada before entering mexico. 

  8. My uncle used to organize and shepherd groups of up to 20 of his financially well-off elder friends for thrice yearly trips to Mexico.  They quit doing this some time ago when it was ascertained that this is no longer a safe practice.  Too bad, because Mexico is such a beautiful country.  Just from my uncle’s abstention alone, Mexico has lost almost a quarter million dollars a year in tourist revenue.  Multiply that by whatever number of sensible Americans that no longer travel to Mexico and the loss to that country is absolutely staggering.  And that is just the financial loss.  They are constantly losing something far greater with each passing day.  These are the wages of the US war on drugs.

    1. I work in Mexico’s touristic industry and I am afraid you are right.

      The cartels used to keep their squabbles and fights away from the resort areas and the beaches, in order to avoid upsetting tourists.

      But now that the Federal Government has become just another criminal gang, everyone is fair game.

      It sucks in here.

    1. You’re an idiot, then.

      This piece goes great with all the many stories on Boing Boing about Mexico that AREN’T about drug-war corpses. Oh, wait — there aren’t any.

      Mexico is a huge, vibrant country. It has one of the biggest economies in the world, and one of the richest, most alive cultures anywhere. Not just tacos and handicrafts either: Mexico is a world center for modern art, film, literature, music, fashion…. There’s no city in the US that compares to the excitement of Mexico City, for instance. New York? LA? Pah. 20th century stuff.

      Y’all are aware that the rate of deaths due to drug abuse in the US is just as high as that in Mexico for cartel violence, right? Interesting parallel. This war exists to service us. Funny how America seems to be totally dependent on war, war, war everywhere. How long do you think that is going to be sustainable?

      Mexico is a great country. I feel safer most places there than I do most places here. That’s because I AM SAFER. 

  9. Weed should be legalized, but doing so won’t end the violence in Mexico. The cartels would just shift their focus to heroin and coke. Any American who uses drugs that came from Mexico has blood on his hands in this situation. It would be nice if drug users had the ability to organize a boycott of Mexican drugs, but addiction tends to throw a wrench in that idea. Mexico is a beautiful place with wonderful people. I’d like to see things get better but I don’t have the solution. The best advice I can give would be to discreetly grow your own weed and resist the urge to try heroin and coke.

  10. As a former prosecutor who for a time handled all of the state felony drug prosecutions for a large metropolitan area, I agree that our nation has a failed drug policy.  For some drugs (both legal and illegal) the threat to society is not from the use of the drug, but from the economics surrounding their acquisition.  IMHO, alcohol and driving pose a much greater risk to society than smoking pot (which in general makes people not want to get behind the wheel).  All drugs carry risks to the users (even those prescribed by your physician). 

    The quintessential issue for our society in informing our drug policy is who should bear those risks.  I think it should be the user after informed consent (that is where education and treatment should be the focus, not criminal records and incarceration). 

    Our current policy puts innocents in the line of fire.  Making a substance illegal and difficult/dangerous to obtain introduces the money motive for those in the position to supply it.  And where there is money, crime always will find its way into the equation.  Most certainly, a relaxed drug policy will put some, if not many, into the perils of addiction and a destroyed life.  That will be sad.  But there are enough success stories of people overcoming these negatives that there is hope.  Alas, there is no hope for those innocents who become collateral damage in the crossfire exemplified by this Mexican tragedy.

    We can’t wait for a decision-tree that presents a perfect option and a failed option.  Neither should we be presented with a Hobson’s choice.  The statistical evidence supports availing ourselves of trying the “lesser of two evils” choice–if, for no other reason, then to see what happens.  Times a’waistin.

  11. I remember in the 80s, when  they found a head out behind the Burger King in Tampa.  The scale of violence was pretty bad then, and even worse in Mexico now.  I don’t recall being all that worried about it then, it was a fairly isolated crowd running around doing that sort of thing. 

    But in a context of that sort of violence, it does make minor infractions  seem trivial in comparison.  Though other people in the area would disagree, where I live now is comparatively crime free.  Residents are aghast when they catch a kid vandalizing something, and severely prosecute what other times/places would call a minor dispute.  I can see how people’s experiences would lead them to see the world as some sort of peaceable  Disneyworld, but it isn’t an attitude I will ever get used to.

  12. I agree.  Its not harsh its the truth.

    This power greed, corruption and poverty is the basis of the cartels. Others want to talk about Mexican weed which makes me laugh.  Mexican weed is disgusting compared to what is in NoCAl and the rest of the USA not even the mexicans smoke it.  The real money is in Coke, Meth and H. and despite the fact of being legal or not there are other ways of being a corrupt origination beside drugs. How bout Real Estate, Ponzi schemes, The Garbage business hehe the list goes on.

    Points is they got a bigger problem than Drugs or a “Drug War”

  13. People shouldn’t suffer and die for somebody else to get high. That’s jacked-up. Sure end prohibition, but in the mean time stop taking blood-drugs. If you don’t know where it came from then it’s a sure bet it is soaked in violence.
    You wouldn’t wear a blood-diamond, why would you smoke bloody weed?

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