The coronavirus pandemic has presented Mexican drug cartel an opportunity to cultivate popular support and consolidate territorial control in areas where people are in desperate need of aid, analyst group said.

InSight Crime, a group investigating and analyzing organized crime in Latin America, reported that each cartel group is giving their own “hand-outs” to their respective localities.

In the city of Guadalajara, the eldest daughter of former Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Alejandrina Gisselle, handed out provisions to elderly residents. The boxes were stamped with her father’s name and image. 

Beginning of April, members of the Gulf Cartel reportedly handed out boxes of food to residents in poor neighborhoods in Matamoros and Ciudad Victoria of Tamaulipas state, said the group.

Other cartels are doing the same.

The Jalisco Cartel New Generation (Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación — CJNG) has distributed boxes of pantry items around the state of San Luis Potosí, according to reports by La Opinion.

The boxes were labeled with a sign that read: “On behalf of your friends from the CJNG, COVID-19 contingency support.”

The Zetas also did the same in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz.

“Crime groups in Mexico have a long history of providing aid in marginal neighborhoods to gain social acceptance and support by showing they will provide what the government cannot,” said the group.

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