Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gang Expansion

Here's a new piece about the Cartel de Jalisco--Nueva Generación. Highlights:

The video also demonstrates how Mexico's criminal groups have begun to utilize public relations techniques, claiming to be motivated by the wish to protect the people. Various gangs have grown accustomed to proclaiming their intentions and justifying their actions with public banners, often called "narcomantas," videos uploaded to the Internet, and even interviews with major media outlets. More often than not, the groups try to take the moral high ground against their enemies, as the CJNG does in its latest video, tarring the Caballeros as kidnappers and thieves.

It’s not always clear what is motivating this tendency for gangs to paint themselves as the good guys and their enemies as the villains. Sometimes, it’s clearly in a group’s interest to distance themselves from a particularly heinous crime or assuage fears that they might seek to overthrow the government, to try deflect the attention of the authorities. But most citizens, to say nothing of the government, will put little stock in any group’s proclamations that they are the noblest of the gangsters.

A hat tip to José Manuel Salazar for that one.

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