April 22, 2020 - 16:25 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - As the outbreak spreads, hospitals across Mexico are falling short of vital medical supplies. And with state and federal authorities unable to meet their demands, some health centers have turned to an unlikely savior: El Chapo, The Daily Beast reports.
El Chapo 701 is a private company named after infamous drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and owned by his daughter Alejandrina Guzmán. (The 701 refers to Guzmán’s one-time ranking on Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people.) In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, Chapo’s namesake enterprise has seized international headlines by doing things the government can’t or won’t do.
The Guzmán family’s outfit has already set up an aid hotline for senior citizens on social media. Masked workers take to the streets to hand out care packages emblazoned with the company’s website logo—a stylized El Chapo himself. He may be serving life without parole in the United States, but among the needy in Guadalajara his face is everywhere. And now, as requests flow in, the company has vowed to help supply hospitals in four major Mexican cities, including the nation’s capital.
The El Chapo franchise is not alone. Cartels and crime groups in many parts of Mexico—indeed, in many parts of Latin America—are taking it on themselves to answer the coronavirus call.
In Mexico that assistance always aims for maximum visibility: aid packages with unique and distinctive labels that identify the cartel or a specific capo, given out by sicarios (hitmen) who are being filmed for viral uploads to Facebook—which in turn garner additional attention from major press outlets.
9500 cases of Covid-19 have been registered in Mexico so far, with over 850 deaths and more than 2600 recoveries.