Mexico's Jalisco Cartel - New Generation (CJNG) has announced its "arrival" in the central state of Guanajuato with public banners, in what may be an attempt to capitalize on problems experienced by rival groups.
Two hand-written "narcomantas" (banners hung by drug cartels) appeared in the town of San Francisco del Rincon earlier this week, reported Historias del Narco.
They read, "People of the state of Guanajuato, we are now here, we have now arrived and we are not going to leave."
They also announced a "cleansing" of any groups that engaged in kidnap or extortion of local business, reported Proceso.
The banners were removed by the police and given to prosecutors.
InSight Crime Analysis
The use of narcomantas is often indicative of increasing instability in the underworld, as competing cartels use them not only to try and strike fear into their enemies but also as a type of public relations exercise, targeting the civilian populations that have become a pawn in their turf wars. Extortion is now a major source of income for the gangs, which previously relied almost exclusively on the drug trade, and the banners often see one cartel urging people not to make payments to their "evil" rival. They also try to win the support of local populations, painting themselves as the Robin Hood-style protectors of the community -- as seen in these recent CNJG banners -- a common tactic among a number of Mexico's criminal organizations, especially the Knights Templar.
The CNJG has a history of presenting itself in this way. The group's first appearance in Mexico was marked by the slaughter of 35 alleged members of the Zetas in the port town of Veracruz in 2011, whose bodies were displayed in a busy street. A video was also released promising to clean the city of Los Zetas and restore law and order.
Around the same time, the CJNG also appeared in Guanajato for the first time, dumping dead bodies along a highway and threatening a wide range of rival groups. The Knights Templar and Los Zetas have been more prominent in Guanajuato but have recently been struggling, which could explain why the CJNG is now looking to make another attempt on the region.