This is the moment suspected cartel killers flaunted their assault rifles as they announced their arrival with jolly traditional music to fearful residents in Mexico.
Footage shows four pickup trucks filled with suspected cartel members as they flaunted their weapons and jeered at the camera in the municipality of San Lucas in the western Mexican state of Michoacan.
Overheard in the video is narcocorrido music which has a polka-like rhythm based on the traditional Mexican corridor genre.
The suspected cartel members flaunt their assault rifles as they arrived in in the municipality of San Lucas in the western Mexican state of Michoacan (left). A total of four pickup trucks were seen arriving (right)
The lyrics typically speak approvingly of illegal activities such as drug trafficking.
The suspected cartel members reportedly shouted from the pickup trucks to announce their arrival in the town.
Reports said they were part of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
However, the municipality of San Lucas and nearby Huetamo are said to be controlled by Don Jose, the leader of the cartel La Familia Michoacana, according to local media.
Don Jose reportedly controls the municipalities of Pungarabato, Cutzamala de Pinzon, Tlalchapa, Coyuca de Catalan and Zirandaro in Guerrero State.
The group hold their assault rifles in the air and look at the camera (left). Overheard in the video is narcocorrido music which has a polka-like rhythm based on the traditional Mexican corridor genre (right)
According to local media, the CJNG has expanded its operations quickly over the last 10 years under the leadership of Nemesio Oseguera alias ‘El Mencho’.
The cartel is allegedly at war with other criminal groups, including La Familia Michoacana, for control of Michoacan and other Mexican states.
And one of their main enemies is believed to be Don Jose.
The CJNG is reportedly operating in 26 of Mexico’s 32 states and Mexican and US authorities consider them one of the most violent organisations in the region.
It comes after shocking images of children as young as five toting rifles in Ayahualtempan, a town in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero.
The group revealed that it was using children as young as six as ‘recruits’ for armed defense patrols, Mexico’s president said Thursday that drug cartels too are recruiting ever-younger kids.
The children cover their faces while undergoing weapons training in Guerrero State, Mexico
The head of the Guerrero state human rights office forcefully condemned the vigilantes, saying they were exposing the children to danger
The whole issue has sparked a debate in Mexico over the use of children in armed confrontations, with rights groups saying the practice threatens not only kids’ safety, but their mental health.
Images appear to show children aged from around five to 15, and they carried shotguns and rifles. Some of the very youngest carried sticks instead of guns.
They performed rifle drills on a road in the township of Alcozacán in southern Guerrero state.
In a nearby town, a local drug gang had killed 10 men and burned most of their bodies, and vigilante organizers said the kids were needed to guard their villages against the drug gang.