Jun 22, 2012

In Mexico, State Seeks to Ban Narco-Messages

InSight CrimeThe governor of Sinaloa state, west Mexico, is trying to outlaw the posting of "narcomantas," public banners hung by drug gangs to threaten enemies or improve their image, in an initiative that seems both counterproductive and doomed to fail.

Governor Mario Lopez Valdez has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to hang the banners or to serve as a lookout, also known as a “halcone”, for criminal groups, as Riodoce reported.

Lopez, whose state is among the most violent in Mexico and is home to many of Mexico’s most notorious capos, did not say what the penalties would be for breaking his proposed law.

Mantas have become an increasingly common element in Mexico’s criminal landscape over the past few years, with messages appearing on a regular basis to taunt enemies, call on the government to take action against rivals, improve a group's image with the public, or a combination of the three. Read more.

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