Narco tombs in San Miguel Arcángel, Culiacán and Barcelona

Luis Estrada’s new narcoflick, El Infierno, a brilliant narcoart short by Don Bartletti, and a couple of my old photos.

In El infierno, Luis Estrada’s gruesome burlesque of Mexico on its 200th birthday, Benny García (Damián Alcázar) is deported from the US not long before celebrations commence. Robbed by bandits and the military on his way home, he finds that the only line of work available to him is that which led to the premature demise of his brother, for whom he is rapidly able to purchase a tomb upgrade.

None of this is invented: were the drugs war to end tomorrow, the Culiacán cemetery in which members of the Sinaloa cartel rest in more peace than they grant to decent public officials would surely soon join the battlefield tourism niche occupied inter alia by Bobby Sands murals in Northern Ireland.

The same combination of drug money, truncated lives and catholic taste has led to similar results among Barcelona’s gypsies. I know nothing of how this young man led his life or met his end, but his memorial is a great example of the genre:

See also this post and this walk.

El infierno could have been considerably shorter, but you shouldn’t miss the war between the avengers of El Diablo and the Holy Family cartel, which includes two other fine cemetery scenes. For a brief and for me far more powerful glimpse of this facet of Mexican reality, try the superb Don Bartletti/LA Times ultra-short on José Espinoza, who paints tombs and whatever for the Sinaloa cartel and for whoever else requires his services.

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  1. Great stuff the Bartletti story. But hilarious that when you know you’re about to watch photos, and photos of paintings, you are warned of graphic content. And the way they do it! “Contains graphic content” is a level of language you don’t hope to find in such a good newspaper. Real life parody of itself.

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