A drug cartel named after Viagra is anything but soft

A drug cartel named after Viagra is anything but soft

VicesMarch 21, 2018 By Reilly Capps

The Viagras, the Mexican cartel, might seem like a joke. After all, who would name their cartel after and erectile dysfunction pill? 

But they might be the hardest dudes in Mexico.

Other cartels will cut off heads. The Viagras go for the heart.

You can literally watch dudes claimed to be Viagras digging into the victim's chest — while the poor man's lungs are still rising and falling. They hold the heart up to the camera and address their rivals: "This is your New Year's present, you sons of whores."

Things are complicated in Drug Cartel Land — which is now much of Mexico. It's a shadowy territory where masked groups shoot, steal and rob to stay on top of the chaos caused by a drug war that claimed 30,000 lives last year alone

The Viagras have been around for three or four years, cooking and shipping meth, operating near the borders of the states of Jalisco, Michoacan and Guerrero, in the southeast of Mexico. This territory is a no-man's land, not clearly controlled by any one group.

So now the competition is, in part, to see who can go hardest against each other. The Viagras are so brutal they're been . "They are the worst criminals I have ever met," one of Mexico's most prominent drug traffickers, La Tuta, .

[The Viagras are fighting for that dark gray area in the south, the "disputed territory." Hard. Graphic from the BBC.]

The Viagras are lead by "El Gordo" — the fatty. (Again with the dick references.) He's now one of the most wanted men in the Americas, especially now that  Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán, has been captured. Some locals that El Gordo isn't a bad guy, and the Viagras are misunderstood, that they are heroes, "valiant freedom fighters brave enough to take on both local cartels and a corrupt state government."

One of the Viagras' main rivals are the Jalisco New Generation Cartel — usually regarded as the biggest, bloodiest gang in Mexico. Different cartels reportedly have signature ways of killing — to let the other cartels and corrupt officials know who's in town. The Viagras have their mark: a Jalisco cartel member's freshly-stopped heart.

It's easy to call these guys savages, to say they find pleasure in torture. Maybe they do. 

But they didn't start this war.

Used responsibly, drugs can make life better. And when America outlawed all drug trade, conflict arose. Then America sells them our guns; and the war gets worse.

Nor is execution unique to the Mexican side of the border. Trump's drug-dealer execution threats have become a signature administration policy proposal — and our crowds cheer the escalation. (Our signature method of execution is lethal injection.)

El Gordo compared Trump to a leader of a cartel, in that he has shady sources of money and fame, which he used to gain political power. No wonder "El Gordo," told Vice their true enemies aren't other cartels — it's the government. "The government turned us all against each other," El Gordo told Vice.

Back to the name — Los Viagras. They fight birds — roosters, which, the story goes, stand taller than other birds. So the birds were called the Viagras. The cartel borrowed the name from their cocks.