A new police chief was left horrified on his first day on the job when he received a package containing a severed head and death threat from a drug cartel.
The gruesome head was found decomposing inside a black bag left in the street with a message.
Chief Rafael Vázquez, who has been an officer for 19 years, was accused of being a "kidnapper who takes orders from the Sinaloa Cartel" in the note.
"Tijuana will bleed because of that kidnapper," the message threatened.
In further scary developments, two more messages were found around the city the following night, but this time was thankfully accompanied by some sort of animal meat.
Tijuana, in Mexico, is ranked one of the top ten most violent cities in the world, with most of the bloodshed coming from clashes with rival drug cartels battling for the city, VICE reports.
Mexican news reports say that the messages and severed head come from a known rival of the Sinaloa Cartel, previously led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán until he was sentenced to life in prison on drug trafficking charges and extradited to the US.
The mayor of Tijuana, Monserrat Caballero has spoken publicly on the threats and shown support for the police chief.
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"If there are threats, then it’s about his work, and for me, that is an indication that the crooks are afraid," she said in a press conference.
This is not the first time Vázquez has been wrapped in controversy.
A banner was hung from a bridge in 2017 that accused him and a fellow police officer of "collaborating with the Sinaloa Cartel, for whom they clear a path and are also dedicated to extortion, theft and abuse of authority."
He was also more recently accused of selling positions within his police force and has been accused of torture and theft.
But the chief has never been charged with a crime.
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Suspicions around Vázquez are to be expected, as Mexico is known to have a long history of high-ranking authorities becoming corrupted by powerful cartels.
In December 2019, Mexico's minister of public security from 2006 to 2012, Genaro Garcia Luna, was indicted on charges of drug trafficking conspiracy and making false statements.
Luna took "millions of dollars in bribes from 'El Chapo' Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel while he controlled Mexico’s Federal Police Force and was responsible for ensuring public safety in Mexico,” the indictment claimed.
The former minister denies all claims and is awaiting trial in New York.
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