HomeNewsBriefDrug Traffickers’ Alleged Dog Amputation Hits Headlines
BRIEF

Drug Traffickers’ Alleged Dog Amputation Hits Headlines

MEXICO / 14 JAN 2013 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

Photographs of a dog reportedly maimed by drug traffickers in Mexico are attracting attention from world media, shining a spotlight on the animals who suffer at the hands of organized criminal groups.

The mutilated Belgian Shepard mix, known as Lemon Pie, reportedly had its front legs cut off by a criminal group in Zacatecas state, and is currently using a pair of prosthetics to move around. Mexico newspaper El Universal ran a story on the injured canine on January 7, followed by similar pieces on the Associated Press and the Washington Post World Views blog. It was also covered last year by Britain’s Daily Mail and the Toronto Sun.

The head of the animal sanctuary sheltering Lemon Pie said that the dog was abused by suspected members of a criminal gang, who cut off the dog’s paws as practice for the torture of human kidnapping victims.

InSight Crime Analysis

Some of the media headlines on poor Lemon Pie makes the story sound more like a trend than it actually is. It would be near impossible for animal rights activists to assess just how many dogs in the country suffer at the hands of criminal organizations, and this figure is likely far lower than the number abused by careless or cruel owners.

It is true, however, that Lemon Pie is not the first animal to be abused by those involved in the criminal world. One animal sanctuary in Cali, Colombia, shelters several beasts whose owners were once drug lords or paramilitaries. The animals include a lion fed Ecstasy and other drugs, and other jungle species that were beaten and starved.

Certain animals — especially purebred dogs and horses, and “exotic” species like big cats — are much in demand by some criminals. Sometimes the expense and the size of the animals are meant to serve as a status symbol, as appeared to be the case with Medellin Cartel leader Pablo Escobar, who memorably bred African hippos on his private retreat. In other cases, animals have served a more practical purpose for criminal groups. Mexican group the Zetas allegedly used a horse breeding company to disguise millions of dollars of illicit profits.

Animals have also suffered at the hands of some institutions meant to fight drug trafficking. According to one popular rumor, entry-level recruits to Guatemala’s elite special forces squad, the Kaibiles, are given a puppy at the beginning of their training, and then are forced to kill it in order to graduate.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Related Content

MEXICO / 1 APR 2015

As strange as it may seem, some of the most prominent drug traffickers in Sinaloa state, Mexico, are compliant taxpayers…

GUERREROS UNIDOS / 27 APR 2016

The final report released by the panel of international experts charged with investigating the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico…

MEXICO / 19 APR 2021

The shuttering of a state prison in Mexico is an unconventional response by officials trying to combat poor living conditions…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…