Courtesy of the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Morelos; eelbaron_news / Twitter
Last Monday, the Morelos government offered US $ 25,000 for the capture of Francisco Javier Rodríguez Hernández, alias “El Señorón”. Rodríguez Hernández is a prominent cartel leader in the Morelos region. The government wants him for both homicide and organized crime. The government even erected a billboard announcing the bonus for Rodríguez Hernández.
In response, Rodríguez Hernández offered impoverished townspeople basic foods, school supplies and toys in an attempt to win their favor.
Masked and armed henchmen arrived in two villages in the south of Morelos on Wednesday and distributed bags of goods. The bags were adorned with the face and logo of El Señorón. According to Aristegui Noticias, the bags also contained a statement from Rodríguez Hernández himself. He said: “Although the state government has sent letters and official statements that the criminal leader is reacting violently, El Señoron is responding today by supporting the people and their needs. “
Soon people began to circulate pictures of the “gifts” on social media. Savvy social media users called the “kind act” something much more sinister: a publicity stunt. After all, this is not the first time that cartel members have attempted to manipulate the public into “their side”. As a Twitter user Put the: “As if the criminals were interested in the education of children. Either way, the poor locals seemed more than happy to take the free supplies.
On Monday, the current governor of Morelos, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, announced a new initiative that would publicly target the leaders of the cartels.
“I am celebrating the launch of these unprecedented investigative events in the state that reinforce our security strategy,” Blanco said. “Never before has the authority dared to expose the alleged generators of violence with their first and last names.” The government then erected a “Wanted” billboard for El Señorón. A day later, the billboard was set on fire by unknown assailants.
Morelos’ government seems bewildered by El Señorón’s response to his show of authority. “We repeat: we are not negotiating with criminals in Morelos,” the government said in a statement about its publicity stunt for school supplies. “Therefore, our top priority remains to capture the prominent members of the cartel who undermine the security and peace of the people of Morelos.”
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