Several arrests have been made since September for the horribly brutal horse slaughter around Miami to feed the carnivorous diversity of local immigrants. The names of those arrested are all Hispanic: Roberto Aguedo Chavez, Ricardo Olivarez, Santiago Cabrera and Luis Miguel Cordero. In south Florida, much of the market for illicit horse meat is believed to be Cuban.
But the incarceration of a few thugs won't stop this crime: there is too much money to be made for killing a family's pet horse and selling the meat.
In fact, blackmarket horse meat is increasing in value, perhaps because of the increased attention. In July, the black-market price was reported to be $7-$20 per pound, and now the street value is $40 for that amount, meaning an entire animal can bring $8000 for a night's cruelty.
As a result of easy money from the eager immigrant clientele, more horses have been slaughtered.
[Well-groomed horse cut into 10 to 15 pieces in Southwest Miami-Dade; 21 horses killed since January, West Palm Beach Post, November 2, 2009]
She was a bay - a dark brown thoroughbred. She had a shiny coat and new horseshoes, all signs that someone took good care of her.
But Saturday night, the 3- or 4-year-old mare was found cut in pieces along a rural roadside in Southwest Miami-Dade, a spokesman for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals said.
The mare was the latest horse slaughtered, possibly for her meat, in a rash of such killings this year in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
"It was a pretty brutal scene," said Richard Couto, a board of directors investigator with the SPCA. "I love horses, and going to a scene like that and seeing one in 10 to 15 pieces, it's difficult."
It's not just the taste of horse meat that attracts buyers; it is believed to have otherworldly powers by superstitious immigrants.
Richard Couto said it's a third world custom, where horse meat is not only a delicacy but a magic elixir.
"They think that horse meat is a cure-all, that it's going to cure blood disorders," said Couto. "It's going to cure AIDS — that it helps with the side effects from chemotherapy." [...]
"My horse was tied to a palm tree," said Ivonne Rodriguez. "His throat was slit, OK? And he wasn't dead when they were taking meat off his body."
Ivonne Rodriguez wants justice for Geronimo. Four people have been arrested so far.
Santiago Cabrera and Luis Miguel Cordero admitted they sat on the horses and held their mouths closed while they butchered them alive.
[Black Market Butchers Continue Killing Pet Horses, WPBF-25, West Palm Beach, November 25, 2009]
(Watch the accompanying video from the TV report: Horse Meat Black Market Delicacy.)
One of the admirable facets of Western civilization that is little appreciated by its inhabitants is the abhorrence toward animal cruelty, a cultural value that is not shared in much of the world.
In some societies, gratuitous brutality is regarded as fun or sporting, and the best example is probably Mexican bullfighting which can include injury to horses. In parts of China and the Philippines bloody horse-fighting is popular. Animals that are injured are often butchered and barbecued for the crowd.
In Mexico, horse meat is commonly eaten, and Mexican slaughterhouses are known for their cruel methods of dispatching the animals.
Back in the US, horse rescuer Richard Couto remarked, "South Florida is probably one of the only places in the United States that a dead horse is much more valuable than a live horse."
Another cultural enrichment of immigration diversity!