Mexican Cartel Thug Claims Gladiator Games Recruit Killers

Tuesday, 14 Jun 2011 03:16 PM

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A self-professed Mexican cartel gangster claims that cartels often stop buses and force passengers into gladiator-style battles in which the winners are sent on killer missions against rival gangs. That’s just one of the tales he told the Houston Chronicle during a lengthy interview about the horrific violence the cartels inflict not only on each other but also on common people.

The man, who spoke anonymously, also said he has participated in the smuggling of up to $10 million of cocaine into the United States. Police confirmed his identity but said he is not wanted on charges, according to the Chronicle’s report.

Winners of the gladiatorial combats, which the Zetas cartel labels a game entitled "Who is going to be the next hit man?", are forced to go on suicide missions that include shooting up towns that rivals control, he said.

"They cut guys to pieces," he said.

Evidence supports the claim, including reports of bus passengers’ being targeted and discoveries of pits containing the bodies of hundreds of people killed by blows to the head.

But U.S. authorities told the Chronicle they had never heard of such gladiatorial contests.

"The stuff you would not think possible a few years ago is now commonplace," retired FBI agent Peter Hanna told the paper. The gladiator games "would be more for amusement," he said. "I don't see it as intimidation or a successful way to recruit people."

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