Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Economic Upside to Mexico's Drug Wars.

A booming death services industry.

"We've seen a big increase in the number of clients because of the drug war, especially since September. It's gone from a few (bodies) a week to one or two every day," said Fernando, a funeral home owner in Tijuana across the border from San Diego, California. He declined to give his last name.

About 4,000 people have been killed in Mexico this year as gangs vie for control of the cocaine trade amid a crackdown that has thousands of army troops battling drug cartels on their home turf.

Drug cartel hitmen have killed some 160 people in the past month in Tijuana, once a party town serving Americans tequila and sex that is being devastated by the war.

Gun battles and gangland mutilations are also boosting demand for facial reconstructions. Funeral parlors can charge more than $1,000 to make the dead presentable for their wakes.

And because of the rise in decapitations in the city, undertakers offer to hold the body and wait for the head to be found before proceeding with the funeral.


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