Alejandrina Guzman, the daughter of former Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, distributed boxes with groceries to the elderly and impoverished people and most vulnerable members of Mexico that lack food during the coronavirus pandemic while her father is incarcerated in the United States. The press in Mexico have labeled the coronavirus aid packages “Chapo food parcels.” The cartels are taking advantage of the lackluster social programs that exist in Mexico in efforts to gain influence in the territories they control.
Just last month, 2,585 people were killed in Mexico — making it the most murders in the nearly decade-and-a-half drug war. Jose Reveles, a journalist who specializes in reporting on the narco trade, called the aid from the cartels a “propaganda strategy, aimed to show their presence.” For the cartels it is important to show their presence to not only their rivals but the government as well.
The pandemic has hit organized crime groups hard. Obliterating many drug trafficking routes. Cocaine from South America is harder to access and so are synthetic drugs, as many of the chemicals come from China. Some cartels are no longer able to pay their “sicarios”. Check out President Trump discussing how cartels want to exploit the situation for their own gain: