HomeNewsBriefMexico Drug Capos Bring the Good Life to the Afterlife
BRIEF

Mexico Drug Capos Bring the Good Life to the Afterlife

MEXICO / 14 OCT 2016 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Drug capos in Mexico are gettting buried in luxurious mausoleums replete with wireless internet, air conditioning and gold-plated caskets, proof that they are literally taking their illicit riches with them to the grave. 

Arturo Beltrán Leyva, a deceased leader of the Mexican criminal organization that bears his surname, is buried in a gold coffin. A few meters away lies the altar of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, a top boss of the Sinloa Cartel who was killed in 2010 during a shootout with the Mexican Army. It is adorned with a few bottles of tequila, a painting of Our Lady of Lourdes, and some metal sculptures of horses and roosters. Up a flight of stairs, there’s a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom.  

These are just some of the notable drug traffickers who chose the Jardines del Humaya cemetery as their final resting place, reported Milenio. The Mexican newspaper also visited the mausoleum of Arturo Guzmán, brother of the notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. His is modest compared to the most ostentatious mausoleums on site, which can reportedly cost over $300,000. 

The cemetery is located in Mexico’s northwest state of Sinaloa, where both the Beltrán Leyva Organization and the Sinaloa Cartel have their roots. The cartels worked together before a bitter feud pitted them against each other in the late 2000s. But apparently these animosities haven’t prevented them from sharing what one news outlet dubbed a “narco cemetery.”

InSight Crime Analysis

The opulence of the mausoleums at Jardines del Humaya cemetery is especially striking when juxtaposed with the poverty that surrounds it. In 2014, nearly 40 percent of Sinaloa’s population was living in poverty. And despite the state’s agragrian-based economy, 30 percent of the population lacked access to an adequate diet. In other words, a few drug traffickers are spending eternity in places that most Sinaloans could never afford to live in.

SEE ALSO: InDepth Coverage of Narco Culture

As long as that disparity exists, Sinaloa’s illicit drug trade will always have a ready supply of recruits. Drug trafficking is an extremely dangerous business, but it is also arguably the only one that offers Sinaloa’s rural poor a chance at making it rich, however slim those odds may be. The most extreme example is El Chapo, who was born in a poor farming community in Sinaloa but would eventually break into Forbes’ global billionaires ranking by expanding his drug empire across much of Mexico, leaving a trail of carnage — and coffins — in his wake. 

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