A baseball cap dangles from a cement cross. The slogan on the hat reads "power, money, respect." On the brim there's the logo of the classic gangster movie "Scarface."
Etched on the gravestone, the words: "Jesus Guadalupe Parra. 12 December 1986 to 25 August 2008."
"Lupito," as friends and family knew him, went down in a hail of bullets before he reached 22. Authorities said he died alongside three others in a gunfight with a rival drug gang high in the Sierra Madre mountain range that is the backbone of Mexico's Pacific coast state of Sinaloa.
A printed banner draped over his tomb offers a deeper insight. It shows a photo of him alongside a marijuana plantation and an AK-47 assault rifle fitted with a 100-round ammunition drum.
The drab grave of this cartel triggerman, at the Jardines de Humaya cemetery in state capital Culiacan, stands in stark contrast to the mausoleums of dead capos, or drug bosses. Those are elaborate two- and three-story constructions, some perhaps 25 feet high, made of bullet-proof glass, Italian marble and spiral iron staircases. Read full article »