The campaign for the hearts and minds of Mexican society by the country’s drug cartels is apparent in the latest communiqué from the “Mata Zetas”, a paramilitary organization also known as the CJNG, Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, which reportedly operates as part of the Sinaloa cartel.
This is the latest evidence of the rising influence of paramilitary groups, as drug cartels increasingly resemble insurgent armies in response to the militarization of the drug war, and the role of drug cartels in society increasingly resembles that of a parallel state.
And maybe with this video communiqué we are beginning to see an attempt by a criminal organization to legitimize itself into a “movement”.
Is there a rising danger that militarized drug cartels will attempt to influence the outcome of Mexico’s 2012 presidential elections by targeting the civilian population with violence?
Only time will tell, but what does not bode well for Mexico is that what the attack on civilians in Monterrey’s Casino Royale that resulted in 52 deaths and the terrorizing of the people of Veracruz with this past week’s bloodbath or the murder of up to 200 innocent victims pulled from buses in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, tells us is that drug cartels have lost all respect for Mexican society.
In a video staged with spartan yet powerful theatrics the Mata Zetas/CJNG issued a new communiqué to the people of Veracruz, and more than likely a national audience.
An obviously educated and effective orator uses themes of patriotism, nationalism, morality, and respect for families and institutions to explain their role as protectors of the Mexican people.
Translation of the CJNG communique
Good afternoon, on this Saturday, 24th of September at 4:00pm we deliver the following communique.
To the federal, state and municipal authorities and society in general. As it is apparant to all of you the plight of insecurity that the country is experiencing is reflected within the nation's politics, economics, society and military.
In accordance with the above; we, the most vulnerable because of the circumstances of our way of life, want you to understand what is our role in this problem.
As an ethical principle we do not extort, kidnap, rob or oppress or in any other way disturb the national, familial, mental or moral well being.
Motivated by our personal experiences, we the members of this force that is the paramilitary arm of the people and for the people state that our only objective is the Zetas cartel, with all due respect to the armed forces that we understand cannot act outside the law, which we encourge.
We condemn the evil public servants whose support allows this scourge to continue against society, particularly in the communities of the port of Veracruz, Boca del Rio, Cardel, Xalapa, Poza Rica, Tuxpan, Panuco, Cordova, Orizaba, Perote, San Andres Tuxtla, Martinez de la Torre, Minatitlan, Acayucan, Alvarado, Coatzacoalcos and other municipalities in the state of Veracruz.
We do not avoid our responsibilities, but only fighting under equal terms will we succeed in eradicating the Zeta cartel from the roots up. To accomplish this we ask that that the functionaries and authorities who support the Zetas stop doing so.
That the armed forces be confidant that our only objective is to finish off the Zetas and that all of society be confidant that we, the Mata Zetas (Zeta killers), do not extort, do not kidnap, or in any way damage your personal or the national well being.
We respect the federal, state and municipal executive powers in their fight against organized crime, and we understand their position of not negotiating which obligates us to act covertly but always to the benefit of the Mexican nation.
We are anonymous warriors, faceless, but proudly Mexican.
We must not fall into the trap of external enemies that wield maliciousness, discredit and wickedness for truely predatory ends.
Shielded by the respect for God and democracy, we reiterate to the federal and local authorities that our fight is against Los Zetas. And if our actions have offended society, the Mexican nation and the federal authorities, we, as representatives of the force that we are part of, ask your forgiveness.
Our intention was to show the people of Veracruz that this scourge against society is not invincible, and that you stop letting yourselves be extorted
To each his battles and his fears, to us a single heart.