Mexican News Media Invent Grim Drug-War Lingo


The Mexican news media are inventing grim lingo for drug-war violence, reports the Los Angeles Times. Among the entries: levanton: the kidnapping of one or more members of a rival gang, or other enemy; fusilados: from the Spanish word for rifle, to be executed in the style of a firing squad, or with a shot to the head, known as a tiro de gracia; encajuelado: based on the word for “trunk,” a body dumped in the trunk of a car.

Also, narcomensaje: A scrawled drug message, often rambling or peppered with misspellings, meant to threaten rival drug cartels or government security forces; plaza: Not the quaint public square you see in Mexican towns, but rather any defined drug marketplace, such as a smuggling point; tendita: Any place where drugs are sold in small quantities on the street — a house, apartment building or even a little store; to guard strongholds, trafficking groups rely on a network of street-level informants — taxi drivers, fruit vendors, teen boys — known as halcones, or falcons; cuerno de chivo: “Goat horn,” nickname for the AK-47 assault rifle, a favorite of cartel gunmen. The name refers to the curved shape of the magazine.

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