Poppy fields, gold plated guns and Lamborghinis. A handful of photographs and videos available on social networks reflect the new way in which drug traffickers, especially the younger ones, use these tools to show off a life of excess, violence and ostentation.
The Chapitos —as the children of Joaquín are known El Chapo Guzmán, founder of the Sinaloa Cartel—recklessly brag about their ostentatious life on social media. The fact has impacted Sinaloa society, which for decades has lived with the criminal group.
In Tik Tok, a new social networking service where users share videos, the presence of several users calling themselves La Chapiza has been detected. They are assassins at the service of Guzmán’s sons, who publish audiovisual material such as recordings patrolling the streets, taking care of the poppy plantations and showing off their weapons.
In May 2020, after the passage of a hurricane in Jilotlán, Jalisco, trucks loaded with rice, water, and flour appeared. The Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) began to distribute food among the victims. The video was uploaded to Tik Tok with background music alluding to the criminal organization.
The activity of drug traffickers in the network is not limited to mere ostentation. Through social media, hit men are finding a way to expand their business.
According to an investigation by the newspaper The Wall Street Journal, for at least three years, the criminal group led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, the Mencho, diversified its forms of recruitment and did so through the American conglomerate of social networks.
WSJ He assures that a police officer hired by Facebook discovered that the drug cartel published ads through this social network, where he offered work as a gunman. Once the people were convinced, the members of the CJNG took it upon themselves to threaten them never to leave their “job”.
The vacancies were published in personal accounts under the name “CJNG” —badges of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel name— or its derivatives and requested personnel between 16 and 35 years of age to work.
When they found the first profiles and publications, the Facebook authorities dedicated themselves to purging them; however, accounts related to the organization were not completely removed.
The activity of drug traffickers was not limited to the search for assassins. The cybernetic agent also found that the most powerful criminal organization in Mexico used social networks to brag about his ostentatious life and the hundreds of thousands of murders that weigh against him.
In the case of Facebook, it is also being used to launder money, communicate with encrypted messages and carry out surveillance tasks at the operational level.
On January 13, 2021, the CJNG entered Instagram, as reported by the WSJ. The first post was of a video of a person with a gold gun shooting a young man in the head. The next post is a photo of a beaten man tied to a chair; next is a garbage bag full of severed hands.