LIFESTYLE

Million-dollar mausoleums keep Mexico's dead drug lords in lap of luxury

Inside the entrance to the Jardines de Humaya Cemetery in the Mexican city of Culiacán are rows of bland, unadorned slabs that serve as the gravestones of the city's poor. Continue walking deeper into the graveyard and these rows give way to hulking two story behemoths that look more like modern condominiums than they do places to bury the dead.

These are the narco-mausoleums, the final resting places for some of Mexico's most notorious drug traffickers, and they come replete with air conditioning, wireless Internet, state-of-the art sound systems and some with bedrooms for visiting family members.

"Most of these tombs are nicer than my [expletive] house," a Culiacán taxi driver told a reporter for Fusion when visiting the cemetery.

Across Mexico, which has been looked in a vicious and seemingly never-ending drug war that has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people, these massive over-the-top mausoleums are being built to hold their over-the-top owners when they eventually met their untimely demise.

Arturo Beltrán Leyva, the eponymous former head of the Beltrán Leyva cartel, is buried in a $650,000 mausoleum in Jardines de Humaya that looks like it could stand in for a castle on "Game of Thrones." Turrets and massive crosses adorned the brilliant, white exterior while the interior features WiFi, satellite television, 24-hour-a-day air conditioning, two bedrooms, a kitchen and a burglar alarm.

Known as the "boss of bosses," Beltrán Leyva was killed in 2009 during a raid by 200 Mexican troops with two tanks and two military helicopters. During his funeral his henchmen learned the name of one of the soldiers who participated in the raid and went on to murder his entire family in an act of revenge.

Beltrán Leyva's dead body may have some pretty swanky digs in which to rest, but his mausoleum pales in comparison to Arturo Guzmán Loera's massive grave.

The brother of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, once the richest and most powerful drug trafficker in the world, Arturo was stabbed to death by his lawyer's bodyguard after he was accused of snitching to the cops.

Snitch or not, when you're the brother of the most powerful drug boss in the world you aren't going to have your dead body just dumped in a ditch. Instead Chapo shelled out a reported $1.2 million to build his brother's final resting site.

Resembling an entire suburban street, Guzmán's burial complex features five separate buildings, one for each of the Guzmán brothers (Chapo is the only one still alive). All five of the buildings have air conditioning, 24-hour surveillance, two stories and en-suite bedrooms for family members.

While one would think that at least in death these drug traffickers could escape the violence and revenge that plagues the life they choose, that is sadly not the case. In 2010, a human head was put on the grave of one notorious drug trafficker, while the rest of the body was found discarded next to another drug lord's tomb.

Despite the posh digs, life after death for Mexican drug lords seems to be less "rest in peace" than "rest in pieces."

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