UPDATED: Thursday, May 22, 2014 - 3:09pm
El Paso, Texas (KTSM) — Hundreds of El Paso motorists were shocked to see a disturbing message on a billboard as they drove along I-10 early Thursday morning.
The billboard read "Plata-O-Plomo," which in Spanish literally translates to 'Silver or Lead" is a Spanish slang that means take a bribe or suffer consequences. It has been commonly associated with the cartel violence in Juarez. The sign also had a mannequin, wearing a full business suit hanging from the billboard.
Photo: Courtesy Stephanie Correa
The billboard appeared overnight near 9400 Gateway East, near Americas exit, facing the westbound lanes. It is directly above EF Building Materials. When called for comment on the billboard, EF Building Materials declined comment.
Mike Mons, the General Manager with Lamar Billboard, the company that owns the sign is adamant that Lamar had nothing to do with the painting of the sign. Mons said that the sign was already painted black, and was being prepared for a new billboard. Crews last checked the sign at 4 pm Wednesday night.
Mons said that the Lamar Billboard in question has lights that would have been on all night, illuminating the billboard, but to his knowledge, no one called to report anything unusual.
El Paso Fire Department assisted with the removal of the mannequin from the billboard by 9:30 a.m. Mons said that Lamar Billboard will immediately paint over the sign as soon as El Paso Police conclude their investigation.
El Paso Police report a 2nd billboard with a hanging mannequin was found alongside I-10 in East Central El Paso. According to a media release, the billboard, along the 5200 block of Gateway East had "Dying for Drugs" painted on it, as well as a hanging mannequin.
EPPD officials went on to say, "The investigation is on-going, but we do not have any information to suggest this was done to target any individual person or business at this time."