The monkey – which authorities believe belonged to a cartel group member – was killed during a shootout on Tuesday in Texcaltitlan, a town roughly 63 miles southwest of Mexico City.
Images of the monkey wearing a tiny camouflage jacket and small “bullet-proof” vest appeared online following the shootout.
Mexico state authorities later confirmed the authenticity of the images as well as the monkey’s death, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
It remains unclear how the monkey, who was also wearing a diaper, was exactly killed however. Reports suggest the hail of gunfire or its owner was to blame.
“A primate was killed at the scene, which was presumably owned by a criminal who was also killed at the scene,” said state prosecutors in a statement.
“An autopsy will be carried out on the animal by a veterinarian specialised in the species”, the State of Mexico added.
The small primate’s death came alongside that of 11 gang members who reportedly attacked local security forces in the State of Mexico municipality. The shootout then ensued.
Seven gang members were arrested and some also sustained injuries.
Those individuals appeared in court on Saturday and were identified as members of the Familia Michoacana cartel, who have been accused of attempted murder and other charges. They are due to appear in court again in the coming days.
In typical Mexican tradition, the deceased monkey received its own “corrida,” a folk ballad often composed in honour of dead drug cartel members, which said: “Life is very short, it wasn’t the monkey’s turn (to die)”.
La policía mexicana combatió contra una célula de la Familia Michoacana en Texcaltitlán (Edomex) hace dos días. El enfrentamiento dejó 10 sicarios abatidos, también murió un mono araña vestido como un sicario porque era la mascota de uno de ellos. pic.twitter.com/FAtohmyvTk
— NIPORWIFI © (@niporwifi) June 16, 2022
Authorities were considering animal-trafficking charges against the suspects who survived the shootout, earlier reports said.
Elsewhere in Mexico last week, a Bengal tiger was pictured walking the streets of Tecuala, in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, and another tiger bit a man’s hand off – eventually killing him.
While keeping exotic pets is permitted with a licence in Mexico, experts told reporters that drug gangs often avoid doing so and that pets such as monkeys or tigers were considered status symbols.
Additional reporting by the Associated Press