Several Mexican cartels have been doling out aid packages to cash-strapped residents to help them ride out the coronavirus pandemic, including the daughter of the famed drug lord El “Joaquin” Guzman – Reuters MEXICO CITY.
In a video posted on Facebook by Alejandrina, the daughter of former chief of the Sinaloa cartel, a stencil-style designer image of her father, bearing slick logos, can be seen stuffed into a cardboard box filled with food and toilet paper in a maximum security U.S. Prison.
The oil, sugar, rice, and other contents within the boxes, referred to as “Chapo’s supplies” by the video narrator, were distributed in Guadalajara, the second largest city in western Jalisco state, Mexico.
The company Alejandrina’s, which is associated with the image of her father “El Chapo 701,” legally markets alcohol and clothing under its brand.
However, the active members of local gangs have also been seeking support from residents by showcasing their activities on social media through videos and images, aiming to gain publicity and attention from the public.
The cartels, who are also known for their brutality including dissolving victims in vats of sulphuric acid and beheadings, have a history of trying to win over impoverished communities mentally and emotionally.
In recent history, the nation enters its most severe economic downturn and numerous individuals are facing difficulties in meeting their financial needs due to the detrimental impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Mexico’s economy.
On Thursday, a Reuters observer visited the warehouse known as “El Chapo 701,” where boxes were piled up for distribution in Guadalajara. Certain workers at the warehouse were seen wearing facemasks resembling those used in medical settings, further emphasizing the association with El Chapo.
At that moment, Forbes approximated his total assets at $1 billion. The “El Chapo 701” label derives its name from a Forbes record in 2009 that positioned him as the 701st wealthiest individual globally.
Distributing packages, Alejandrina, donning a black face covering featuring Chapo’s visage, displayed on the organization’s Facebook page, declared in a post, “We are diligently working and making a valuable contribution. It brings us immense joy to come to your residences and provide you with these Chapo giveaways.”
Last year, Chapo El, a drug trafficking host, was found guilty in a U.S. Court and extradited to the United States in 2017.
‘FROM YOUR BUDDIES’.
Several Mexican cartels have given away branded food boxes in recent days, often ensuring their gunmen are photographed with the aid recipients.
Numerous individuals can be seen grappling over packages adorned with the logo of the New Jalisco Generation Cartel (CJNG) in a video shared on social media, as they support the contingency related to COVID-19.
Individuals wearing hoods and military uniforms can be observed hurling the packages into a gathering of inhabitants.
In Tamaulipas, the eastern state of the country, aid packages are also being distributed by the Gulf Cartel, as seen on the Mxpolitico website and social media platforms.
Reuters has been unable to confirm the authenticity of all the videos, although analysts suggest that they seem to be legitimate.
The Gulf Cartel packages, bearing the group’s name and a message, were filled with rice, beans, oil, and canned food, all in aid of Victoria City.
The packets also mentioned “Señor 46, Vaquero”, an apparent allusion to the local leader of the cartel.
Said the cartels’ propaganda frequently intended to divert attention from the chaos caused by their armed men, Falko Ernst, an analyst with the International Crisis Group think tank specializing in conflict resolution.
Ernst said, “They are trying to leverage the perceived absence of the state for their own good and make local communities become more deeply entrenched.”