'Posed' Corpse of Drug Lord Sparks Uproar

Critics say government is adopting scare tactics of cartels
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2009 3:17 AM CST
A wall with bullet holes is seen next to a bed in an apartment in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where drug kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva was slain last week in a shootout with marines.   (AP Photo/Antonio Sierra)
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(Newser) – An apparently posed corpse of a shot Mexican drug lord surrounded by jewelry, blood-stained pesos and US bills has sparked complaints against security officials who critics say are adopting cartel scare tactics.The gory photograph of Arturo Beltran Leyva's body guarded by Mexican marines in Morelos was widely published. Government officials have denied the scene was staged, but the drug lord's pants are pulled down and different objects are seen with his body in different photos.

"The humiliated corpse, with its pants lowered, covered with bloody bills in one photo and religious objects in another, showed the typical modus operandi of narco-traffickers," a security analyst wrote in El Mundo. "The only thing missing was a sign saying 'so that you learn to respect' to confirm the unmistakable stamp of an act of narco revenge. The problem is much deeper: It has to do with the absolute lack of democratic culture and respect for human rights in our country."

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