Video Shows Suspected Narcos Threatening Police for Stealing Their Drugs

The theft of drug shipments is common in Latin America, where drug trafficking is rife, and usually perpetrated by rival groups or their allies in local security.

Sep 9 2021, 1:39pm

GUATEMALA CITY—Alleged members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)—one of Mexico’s most powerful and violent drug trafficking organizations— threatened a group of Guatemalan police officers this week, who they accused of stealing a shipment of drugs. 

A video circulating on social media shows one of a group of men, wearing bullet-proof vests and holding high-powered rifles, saying: “You have 24 hours to return the stuff.” The video appears to have been recorded inside a moving pick-up truck at night. “If not, we’re going after your whore mothers and we’re even going to kill your children, you dogs.”

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“Nobody messes with the people of Mr. Nemesio, those things have an owner and the owner is the Jalisco New Generation Cartel,” added the man, referring to the CJNG’s leader Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho.” 

VICE World News cannot independently verify the veracity of the video. But a spokesman for the Guatemalan government announced that the authorities were looking into the accusations.

“An internal investigation has been ordered,” said the spokesman Pablo Castillo in a video released September 7, the same day the threat appeared online. He added that if the police are found to have stolen the drugs then they will be charged with corruption-related offences.  

The alleged cartel members said that on May 12 “some of the boss’s things were stolen” and named several police officers by name or post who are based in the western department of Alta Verapaz, near the border with Mexico. 

Castillo noted in his statement that two pick-up trucks were found abandoned in the department that same day and subsequently impounded. Authorities are going to check whether the trucks have hidden compartments, as the cartel members suggested. 

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The theft of drug shipments, called a “tumbe”, is a common practice in the region, usually perpetrated by rival drug traffickers or their allies in local security forces. Often, it’s a strategic move related to turf wars and intended to weaken competitors. Guatemala, a key linchpin in drug trafficking routes from South America to the United States, has seen numerous drug thefts over the past two decades. 

One drug trafficker, Jairo Orellana, allegedly stole so many drug shipments that he earned the nickname “King of the Tumbes.” Orellana, who was allegedly linked to the Zetas Cartel, operated in Honduras and Guatemala until he was captured in May 2014 and extradited to the U.S.

The CJNG and Sinaloa Cartel are allegedly engaged in a turf war along the border between Mexico and Guatemala. In the video, the cartel member appeared to acknowledge the battles. “We already cleaned out La Mesilla,” he said, referring to a border crossing nearby where there have been shootouts in past weeks. 

Whether guilty or not, the lives of the police officers concerned, as well as of their family members, are at serious risk. It isn’t known whether or not they have gone into hiding or received some form or protection from the state. 

In a second video that appeared to feature the same supposed cartel members, the speaker,  clutching a rifle, makes the danger clear. “You decide man, what’s worth more, some fucking things or the lives of your family?” 

“We already know where your family lives.”

Tagged:

worldnews, world drugs

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