Mexico’s president chastised drug gangs on Monday, telling them to end violence instead of distributing food, after several reports across the country in recent days showed armed narcos handing out care packages stamped with cartel logos.

Imploring criminals to behave better, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared that the care packages filled with basic foodstuffs and cleaning supplies are not helpful. “These criminal organizations that have been seen distributing the packages, this isn’t helpful. What helps is them stopping their bad deeds,” he told reporters at a news conference.

Gangs garnering support by giving out relief packages

Last week, reports first circulated of several Mexican cartels deploying members to dole out aid packages to help cash-strapped residents ride out the coronavirus pandemic. A daughter of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was among those spotted handing out the packages stamped with her own company’s “El Chapo 701” logo, which includes the image of her infamous father. The boxes included cooking oil, rice, sugar and other items were distributed in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-biggest city.

Beyond the Guzman-linked Sinaloa Cartel, other gangs have similarly courted publicity with care packages for mostly poor residents, including the Jalisco New Generation and Los Durango cartels. Photos posted on social media on Monday showed heavily armed members from both handing out packages including toilet paper and shampoo.

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