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Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Los Aztecas are violent hit men who work for the powerful Juarez drug gang.

10:59 |

Los Aztecas, who are blamed for deadly attacks on U.S. consular staff and their families last weekend in northern Mexico, are violent hit men who work for the powerful Juarez drug gang.The group formed in the 1980s in the jails of Texas, across the border from Mexico's most violent city of Ciudad Juarez, where the latest killings took place.They now spread fear across towns and jails along the U.S.-Mexico border.Named after Mexico's most-famous pre-Hispanic civilization, the Aztecs, Los Aztecas hit the headlines after they were blamed for the gruesome massacre of 15 youths at a party in Ciudad Juarez in late January.Mexican authorities also said they were behind the massacre one year ago of 20 prisoners, who allegedly belonged to the rival Sinaloa drug gang, in the Ciudad Juarez jail.The Sinaloa gang is fighting the Juarez gang for control of lucrative trafficking routes into the United States and beyond, and both use local groups to fight their violent disputes.A Mexican from Chihuahua created the group in 1986 to defend himself from other gangs in a Texas jail, and now it counts some 2,000 members.Members of the group work as paid hitmen for the Juarez gang, and run their own extortion and petty drug dealing networks.
Los Aztecas members reportedly sport tattoos of pre-Hispanic figures, pyramids and snakes and use grades resembling those used in the army, from "Indian" to "General."

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