At the conference, we saw a lot of pictures of dead people - murder victims, autopsy photos. The ones that kept me up at night were a series of photos taken in Mexico. The first photo showed a man arriving in some desolate hills on a motorcycle. A large wrapped package was strapped to the back. The next photo showed the package being unwrapped.
It was a man. Naked and hog-tied. It wasn’t clear if he were dead or alive.
He had darker skin, but he looked more African-American than Mexican.There were other men there and with neutral expressions they set about flaying his body. The photos seemed to have been taken every few minutes. I don’t think it was any secret they were being taken.
Buzzards began to gather - first one, then dozens, then hundreds.
As soon as the workers stepped back, the buzzards made short work of the man. In what was estimated to be twenty minutes, there were only some bones left.
Then one of the men was assigned the task of smashing the bones. The buzzards waited, massed only a few feet away, until he was done. And this time when the buzzards lifted, there was no man at all. He had been completely eradicated from the earth.
Someone asked where the photos had come from. The professor said that one school of thought was that the photographer had been working both sides - for the cartel, but undercover.
Others believe that the cartel commissioned the photographs. That they want the word to get out. That they want everyone to be afraid.
And then Breaking Bad didn’t seem so far-fetched.