Cuautla merchants forced to thank Gente Nueva for not charging floor


News Team

Sellers of fixed establishments and street merchants in Cuautla, Morelos, were recently seen in a video thanking the criminal group Gente Nueva, the armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel, for not charging them a flat fee. This comes amidst a strong wave of extortion in the country by criminal groups targeting various sectors of the population, such as transporters and merchants.

The video shows dozens of merchants gathered in the historic center of Cuautla, right in front of the City Hall, holding up cards with messages directed at the criminal group, such as “We are New People” and “Thank you, New People.” The merchants are seen saying in unison, “Thank you, New People, for not charging us a flat fee,” although it appears they were forced to say it, as a woman’s voice is heard giving the order to repeat the message while a man’s voice thanks those present through a megaphone. At the end, those present do a round of applause, although some people do not join in.

According to local media, the events happened on January 16, and the video was released over the weekend. People were reportedly forced to attend the Z√≥calo of Cuautla and participate in the massive gratitude, with cards already prepared and distributed to those attending. The Crime Investigations prosecutor High Impact of the Attorney General’s Office of the State of Morelos confirmed that the institution opened an investigation folder for the crime of coercion.

Gente Nueva is known as a faction or armed arm of the Sinaloa Cartel, a criminal group that operates mainly in Mexico. This faction has played an important role in the operations and confrontations of the Sinaloa Cartel against other rival organizations, with the aim of controlling strategic territories for drug trafficking and other illicit activities. Gente Nueva has been implicated in various violent actions, including armed confrontations, murders, and kidnappings, as part of the Sinaloa Cartel’s strategies to maintain and expand its influence.

The Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP) of the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) revealed that from January 1 to December 31, 2023, in Mexico, 10,333 investigation folders were opened for the crime of extortion. In Morelos, 236 acts of extortion were registered in 2023, representing a 60% increase compared to 2022. This rise in extortion has contributed to the escalation of violence in certain regions of Mexico, affecting the security and well-being of local communities.

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