An interesting file from the El Paso Intelligence Center DEA/CBP Gang Intelligence Unit surfaced on the interwebz some time ago under the title “LANGUAGE OF THE CARTELS : NARCO TERMINOLOGY, IDENTIFIERS, AND CLOTHING STYLE”.
It shows how the cartels have been using generic symbols such as the MGM lion, the Ferrari logo and even poor old Tweety bird (from Looney Tunes) – in addition to the more well known symbols in us of the cartel-culture such as the Jesus Malverde, the Mexican saint of crime. Even more interestingly, according to the authors of the document, the cartels have a habit of continually changing their use of symbols – the only (half)pattern being that they predominantly use stylized animals from pop-culture.
“The information included in this report is not set in stone as many of these criminal organizations are dynamic and will alter their methods and trends frequently to avoid detection by law enforcement”
The cartels are definitively not the first to do this in the history of man.. But definitively something you should have in mind when you browse our collection of symbols and signs, or in fact if you are researching signs and symbols of any kind.
Also, when seeing the Zeta-cartel‘s merchandise (image above), a group consisting in a large part of ex-soldiers (top guys), you really understand how these guys really don’t give a flying shit about anything. Not even about being caught, or using low grade manufacturing when you don’t even know how to house those billions of blood-dripping dollars of yours. Oh, I almost forgot, you have HSBC for that now (‘HSBC ‘sorry’ for aiding Mexican drugs lords, rogue states and terrorists’ – The Guardian).
There is also a list of ‘Narco terms’ listed in the file, of which especially one caught my eye;
“Cuerno de chivo: (the horns of a goat) which is a common term for AK-47, the preferred weapon of the drug cartels.”
Let us hope Tweety gets out of this bloody mess.