El Chapo’s daughter, cartels donate aid packages
A daughter of famed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and several Mexican cartels have been doling out aid packages to help cash-strapped residents ride out the coronavirus pandemic.
In one video posted on Facebook, Guzman’s daughter, Alejandrina, is seen stuffing toilet paper and food into a box bearing slick logos and a stencil-style image of her father, the former Sinaloa cartel chief now in a maximum-security US prison.
The oil, sugar, rice and other items in the boxes, which the narrator calls “Chapo’s provisions”, were distributed in Mexico’s second largest city, Guadalajara.
Alejandrina’s handout was linked to her company, which markets clothing and alcohol associated with her father’s image under the “El Chapo 701" brand.
The brand gets its name from a Forbes listing in 2009 that ranked him the 701st richest person in the world.
Active members of cartels have also been courting publicity, with images and video on social media showing members providing assistance to residents.
Famed for brutality, including beheadings and dissolving victims in vats of sulphuric acid, the cartels have a history of trying to win over the impoverished communities where they operate.
Mexico’s economy has been battered by the coronavirus and is heading into its harshest recession in living memory.
“We are working and contributing. A great pleasure to visit your homes and give you these Chapo handouts,” a post on the company’s Facebook page said, showing Alejandrina wearing a black mask with Chapo’s face.
“El Chapo” was extradited to the US in 2017 and found guilty in 2019 on a host of drug trafficking charges.
Several Mexican cartels have given away branded food boxes in recent days.
In one video on social media, dozens of people are seen tussling for packages stamped with the logo of the Jalisco New Generation cartel.
Across the country, in the eastern state of Tamaulipas, the Gulf cartel also distributed food parcels.
Falko Ernst, an analyst with the International Crisis Group think-tank, said the cartels’ propaganda often aimed to distract from the havoc wreaked by their gunmen.