Mexican Government Wants El Chapo's Daughter to Stop Giving Out Face Masks With His Image on Them
While the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, and health care workers and government officials do everything to curb the spread and provide treatment, an unlikely altruistic force has emerged:
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
OK, El Chapo himself, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, is locked up in a supermax prison in Colorado. But in his absence, his daughter has started the company El Chapo 701, and has been handing out face masks and care packages in Guadalajara. Just to make sure no one forgets who did them this great service, all of the merchandise comes stamped with El Chapo’s face on it.
El Chapo 701 sells plenty of branded merchandise already, like apparel and tequila. Aside from the name and lineage, there’s no actual link to the illegal activities of its namesake.
That said, the Mexican government is less than enthused that the literal face of this otherwise good deed is an infamous drug lord.
Videos and photos posted on social media show that since the coronavirus pandemic has brought most of Mexico to a standstill, cartels haven’t wasted time cementing popular support in areas they control by handing out cash and packages of food and supplies https://t.co/pBr3qBdkws
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) April 21, 2020
Reuters reported yesterday that Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Abrador called on the company and others to stop pushing products glorifying organized crime in Mexico.
“These criminal organizations that have been seen distributing the packages—this isn’t helpful,” he said. “What helps is them stopping their bad deeds.”
The Mexican president’s comments weren’t specifically for El Chapo 701, however. Plenty of actual cartels and gangs have been openly donating goods to the communities, such as the Jalisco New Generation and Los Durango cartels, according to Reuters.
But, considering that El Chapo’s daughter has been able to keep a company afloat using her father’s name and face shows his enduring popularity in some communities. Adding his face to the products here just increases the association between community service and El Chapo.
So far, El Chapo 701 is only going as far as the borders of Guadalajara, but according to Bloomberg, the company posted on social media that it will branch out soon.
Maureen Meyer, Mexico director at the Washington Office on Latin America think tank, told Bloomberg that the outlaw groups have been “very public” about their donations in local communities, “suggesting these organizations have little concern of retaliation from the federal government.”
There has been a lot of talk about supporting local businesses by buying branded merchandise right now, but this is a new one.