To scrub their violent image, cartels are paddling low-level criminals like frat boys
A man caught stealing women's undergarments was forced to wear panties and drop his shorts. A dude in a balaclava beat him with a wooden paddle like a frat boy on Everclear.
En la plaza del municipio de Magdalena, Jalisco, un presunto ladrón fue retenido por sujetos encapuchados. Los individuos lo sorprendieron robando ropa interior de un domicilio, le obligaron a ponérselos y lo tablearon. pic.twitter.com/8TstjYCCMi— Jalisco Rojo (@JaliscoRojo) June 13, 2018
Thank you sir, may I have another.
The thief was allegedly caught stealing women's lingerie from someone's home. The cartel seems to have forced him to wear some of the underwear, pull his pants down, and say he was being punished for being a thief. "This time they're pardoning me," he's forced to say, "next time they won't."
The Jalisco cartel is on the rise since El Chapo of the Sinaloa Cartel was jailed. Decapitations, ruthless kidnappings and brazen intimidation of police are their trademarks. They're said to eat the flesh of their victims in a tamale.
The cartels record their nasty and ridiculous acts — their murders, tortures, bombings and — and post them to Twitter and Facebook.
But in the lingerie thief paddling video, the Jalisco cartel is trying to show its gentler side. In an area where the cartel controls the cops and the government, and small crimes often go unpunished, this is a PR move. It's saying the cartel is moral, it can deliver justice. There's no need for cops; the cartel is the cops. Regular citizens can be safe from having their drawers stolen; the cartel is here for protection.
In the Jalisco area, other thieves, or what the cartel calls rats, are punished by paddling, their flogging posted to Twitter.
Video Magdalena; Jalisco, Mexico.— FR4NCI5C0 L4ND3T4 (@l4nd3t4) June 14, 2018
Célula Armada de Cartel Local Tablea a 2 Ratas y Les Hace Mandar Mensaje Para Los Demas Ratones ... pic.twitter.com/Q8N4vQbnBh
Cartels are well-run businesses, and other cartels advertise their benevolent authority. In Tampico, the Gulf Cartel stripped a couple young men naked and shackled them to a door. Then they hung a banner next to them saying they were small-time robbers, and that the Gulf Cartel wasn't going to allow criminals in its territory.
Cartels can be kind. In the northwest, the Zeta cartel gave out toys on Christmas. They're even signed the gift boxes. The Knights Templar had an ethics guide. Cartels pay bands to sing their praises with narcocorridos.
This is old-school mafia behavior. Versions have been done from Sicily in the 1970s to Chicago under prohibition.
As last year was Mexico’s most murderous in two decades, with 29,000 people merked, positive PR soothes restless masses.
On Twitter, commenters approved. "That's what he deserves!" and "That's a dirty rat!" and "jajajajajaja," which is Spanish for "hahahahaha."
Mexico is a strange place right now, and there's a saddness to these videos. If you go down there, keep your pants on.