Hitmen from El Chapo’s brutal cartel have been snapped carrying the image of infamous terrorist Osama bin Laden.
The gangsters, from the La Gente Nueva faction, were recorded at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the state of Sonora, northern Mexico.
Several gunmen and some of the trucks had a picture of the former al-Qaeda leader.
La Gente Nueva – the New People – form the armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel and are currently fighting for territory in Sonora with the Juarez Cartel and the Caborca Cartel.
Back in April, a group of hitmen were captured with the same image of the terrorists as they distributing food pantries in Santa Barbara, Chihuahua.
It is unclear why the Sinaloa Cartel have chosen to use bin Laden’s image.
However, some factions have styled themselves on terrorists in a bid to intimidate their rivals.
One group, a subset of the Gulf Cartel based in the eastern state of Tamaulipas, called themselves Los Tailbanes after the jihadis.
Since El Chapo’s imprisonment in the US last year, leadership has fallen to his sons Jesus Alfredo, Ivan Archivaldo, Ovidio Guzman and ex-partner Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.
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Earlier this year, his children imposed a coronavirus lockdown in Culiacan – the capital of Sinaloa state.
Some of their footsoldiers have now been recorded roaming the streets, telling residents: “After 10pm tonight, everyone must be inside their homes due to the coronavirus – otherwise they will be punished. These are others from above.”
The video ends with the chilling warning: “This is no game, we’re not playing.”
In other footage, lockdown rebels are told they will be tortured for two days and made to pay a fine.
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Other disturbing pictures surfaced of a man being beaten with a plank of wood – with “Covid-19” scrawled across it.
Reports last month suggested Chapo’s sons have hired a hit squad in an apparent bid to take control of the cartel.
They are supposedly relying on hitmen “Los Ninis”, young soldiers loyal to the family.
The group is led by Néstor Ernesto Pérez Salas, “El Nini”, and is locked in a brutal struggle with “Los Rusos” – The Russians – a faction loyal to El Mayo.
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