Mexico’s Drug Cartels Warn Cops To Choose ‘Silver Over Lead’ With Texas Billboards Featuring Hanging Mannequins

Mexico’s drug cartels have vandalized several Texas billboards along highway I-10, leaving a threatening that warns police officers to choose “plata o plomo, which means “silver over lead” in English, in addition to featuring a mannequin hanging from a noose.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, the fight against Mexican drug cartels did have some good news lately. A Beltran-Leyva kingpin of a gang was captured in a Mexico city raid. Almost two week ago, a Zetas drug cartel founder was killed in a shoot out in a Mexican border town gun fight and then a week later another Zetas cartel leader was arrested.

The Mexican drug cartels vandalized the billboards and wrote the message in large letters over the original message and it has been confirmed by the regional manager for Lamar Outdoor advertising that it’s not a paid advertisement. The hanging mannequin symbolizes either police officers or government officials since it is wearing plain clothes similar to what those people wear when working.

The message may seem a bit obscure but the intent is clear. When they say “silver over lead” they are telling the public officials that it is better to work with Mexico’s drug cartels and accept a bribe (silver) rather than receive a bullet (which is made of lead).

Local police say this type of warning is common in Mexico but to find it scrawled across Texas billboards is quite alarming:

“This symbol has historically been used by Mexican drug cartels to threaten or intimidate Mexican citizens, business owners and government officials; however, we have never experienced this in El Paso.”

This is not the only warning left on Texas’ billboards. A second featured a hanging mannequin dressed in jeans and the message ironically was written over an existing Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) billboard that offered a $5 million capture reward for drug cartel leader Rafael Caro Quintero. In this case, the message was “dying for drugs” and police are questioning whether it’s the work of drug cartels this time. It’s possible that an activist group that opposes the war on drugs put up this message since similarly phrased messages like “dying for work” targeted those on Wall Street.

Whatever the truth, residents of El Paso are hoping the violence of the Mexican drug cartels has not entered their towns. Some say, “I’m hoping it’s just a bunch of kids vandalizing. If it is, I hope they catch them.”