February 15, 2007 at 3:18 pm in Crime
H√©ctor Tobar broke this story earlier this week in an LA Times story, YouTube immediately responded saying they were pulling all the videos, but as Xeni notes on BoingBoing today there are still quite a few videos still there. This still shows the bodies of Valent√≠n Elizalde, his manager, Mario Mendoza, and driver, Raymundo Ballesteros. According to Wikipedia they were killed in a drug cartel related hit, apparently in retaliation for Elizalde’s lyrics involving Los Zetas. The killing video’s linked to in the BoingBoing post have now been pulled, but this clip “The Sinaloa Cartel Presents el Chapo” celebrating the leader of the Sinaloa cartel is still active, at least when I’m posting this. As Xeni notes, the YouTube account this uploaded to translates to “Long live the Mexican Mafia.” A quick search on YouTube for some obvious wording shows that plenty of these videos are in fact still live.
UPDATE: Some thoughts on this image after the jump.
If you continue to read the comments on the post you’ll see that some people aren’t happy that I posted the image above in the post, rather than hiding it after the jump for just those interested in seeing it. I explained my reasoning for it in the comments, but it’s probably no surprise that Xeni received a similar reaction when she initially posted it. We were discussing this over e-mail and she brought up another valid point by saying:
Also, how about all those people out there playing into the glorification of “thug life”?
And this is a part of the illegal drug trade, just like pig blood lakes are part of the bacon trade. When people purchase cocaine or whatever, guess what — you just participated in this trade.
I believe there’s a great argument to be made for legalizing many drugs, and this is it, but the way things are now: when you buy heroin, ecstasy, coke, whatever, this is also what you’re funding.
I agree whole heatedly and responded saying:
“As someone who, as you know, doesn’t partake in any of those drugs – this is one of my reasons for supporting legalization of all these things. Prohibition creates black markets which require violence to sustain. Taking away their reason to exist takes away the violence. How many gangland killings have their been over alcohol recently? Vs. how many in 1920 when it was illegal? And how much do the govt and the states make by taxing the shit out of alcohol now?
The reason these images exist in the first place is only as far away as a history book. And while I’m not suggesting that anyone here is glorifying drug use, or trying to separate the violence from it, I think trying to cover one without including the other is disingenuous and I think most media that covers these kinds of events does the general public a great disservice by watering it down do it’s safe for widespread consumption. People often complain that as a society we’re too accustomed to violence because it’s always on TV and in Movies, sometimes even going as far as to say it’s the fake violence which makes the real stuff possible. I think that’s bullshit. It’s because the real stuff is so hidden from view that the fake stuff becomes popular. If more people knew what a gunshot actually does to a person, they wouldn’t be so excited to see it fictionalized in film and music. As it stands most people’s only exposure to these kinds of things is in entertainment so they are shocked when violence is shown to them outside of that context.