Story Text - With the gaze of the world firmly on the...

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With the gaze of the world firmly on the Middle East and ISIS, atrocities in one of the United States’ closest neighbors have been almost entirely ignored. Believe it or not, Mexico is a war zone right now, and it exhibits the exact same characteristics of the failed states halfway around the world that America is working so tirelessly to fix. Cartels control the capital flow, politics, defense and citizenry of the entire country - and they use this power to commit horrendous crimes against humanity on par with, if not even more heinous than the actions of ISIS and other terror groups around the world. But, in researching this article, there was only one act of violence that received any attention from mainstream American media. Incredibly, human rights violations and appalling acts have been occurring in Mexico for years, and it was not until I had a conversation with a man who has family there that I became aware of the breadth of the atrocities committed just a few hours south of where I sit now. It was truly a shocking, eye-opening conversation. The source, who for the sake of his family’s safety I will not name, pointed me in the direction of atrocities committed by the Zeta Cartel - in existence since their 2010 split from the Gulf Cartel and now widely considered one of the most prominent and most violent cartels in Mexico - with regard to the disappearance of multiple busloads of people in 2011 that has since been dubbed the “San Fernando Massacre.” In what was one of the more shocking reads of my life, a report in the Daily Mail (a United Kingdom publication) corroborated the story the source told me. Los Zetas hijacked several busses and kidnapped every person on board, then proceeded to rape and torture the women and, shockingly, force the men to fight to the death with knives, machetes and other crude weapons. Those who were alive at the end of the bloodsport were usurped into the cartel and often made to go on suicide missions, such as being forced to go to rival gang-controlled areas and open fire.
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