They were the elite "special forces" of the Mexican military, trained in the U.S. at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia and sent to "wipe out" one of the most powerful Mexican drug cartels.
But these soldiers deserted and became the muscle for the very cartel they were supposed to destroy.
What bright light in Washington came up with this bonehead idea? Didn't the brain trust realize that the big money of the drug cartels would be an irresistible attraction to Mexicans? After all, corruption is deeply rooted in Mexican culture, a fact noted even in the sensitive Washington Post: For Many in Mexico, Bribes a Way of Life. In fact, "The average Mexican household spends up to 14 percent of its income every year on bribing civil servants, police officers and other public officials." Impressionable Mexican kiddies bribe their teachers to get good grades, with a high school "A" going for around $10. (Slacker kids paid $7 for a "C", $8 for a "B" 151 no wonder they want to go to American schools where they get passing grades just for showing up.) So it's not surprising that Mexicans see crime as a convenient means to accruing mucho dollars.
Beyond the social norm of mordido (bribes 151 another Spanish word Americans will be learning), Mexicans love their criminals. Drug smugglers and other lawbreakers are celebrated in song where they are portrayed as romantic Robin Hood figures who outsmart the oppressive police. There is a popular musical genre 151 narcocorridos 151 dedicated to the admiration of drug thugs. There is even a colorful narco-saint, Jesus Malverde, to whom earnest smugglers pray. Where else but Mexico could a criminal be enshrined as a saint?