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Important terms to know

"ajuste de cuentas" - "settlement of accounts" Often heard after murders related to drug debts.

"autodefensas" - Groups of locals who band together to defend their towns against cartels. Prominent in Michoacan in the 2010s.

"chapulin" - A criminal who switches sides or jumps around. Literal translation "grasshopper".

"capo"- The head of a cartel.

"cobro de piso" - Extortion. A payment demanded from businesses by criminal organizations as a "tax" for operating in the gangs territory.

"cuerno de chivo" - AK 47, literally translates to "goats horns", a reference to bent magazine shape of the AK 47.

"encobijado" - A body wrapped in a blanket. Usually left in a public place.

"halcon" - A low level criminal on the payroll of a cartel or gang. Paid to watch and monitor rival cartel and police movements.

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Members of CJNG beat taxi drivers who failed to warn them of rivals movements in the area. June 29, 2020.

https://laopinion.com/2020/06/29/video-narcos-tablean-brutalmente-a-taxistas-asi-los-obligan-a-reportarl-todo-lo-que-ven/

"huachicol" or "guachicol" - The theft of gasoline by illegally drilling into PEMEX pipelines, and then selling at lower prices to locals.

"jale azul" - Crystal meth.

"jefe de plaza" - A high ranking cartel officer in charge of a "plaza".

"mata policia" - An FN 57, a pistol that shoots a 5.7mm round at a very high velocity of 2,500 fps, capable of piercing police body armor. Literal translation "cop killer". 

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"mota" - Marijuana.

"mula" - A drug mule, someone who traffics drugs across the border.

"narcomenudeo" - Low level drug dealers.

"plaza" - A profitable drug trafficking or dealing region such as Mexico City, Culiacan, or Cancun. The country is divided into many "plazas", which are constantly under dispute by different groups.

"piedra" - Crack cocaine.

"rafagas de metralla" - Machine gun fire.