Narcomantas

Categorizing and tracking narcomantas is extremely important for understanding how cartels operate. They reveal useful information such as their commanders, rivals, or markets they are involved in. Through keeping a database of narcomantas, we can interpret and research their patterns based on the clues they leave behind.

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Threats

Threat narcomantas are the most common type of narcomanta, making up 64% of the total found this quarter. 

A common mantra is “this will happen to those who” oppose us, sell drugs, extort the locals, etc. 

Threat mantas are often found in the midst of turf wars. Defenders of a plaza aim to scare off the incumbent, or newcomers will use them to frighten those who engage in business with the home cartel. 

Accusations

Cartels or politicians will often leave banners accusing the government of supporting their rival. Often they will name specific police officers or politicians who they allege are on the enemy payroll. 

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Vision

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Vision

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Introduction

Cartels will often announce their entry into a plaza through narcomantas. These narcomantas may contain self identification, warnings for current criminal actors and security forces and establishment of new rules.

 

Narcomantas announcing introduction can be precursors to violence within the region they are posted in. New criminal groups will have to defeat the defending cartel, often resulting in a bloody turf war.

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Bounties

Bounties are very rare, but as they have a distinct focus, they merit their own category. There has been only one bounty recorded so far this spring, where a local group called “Independientes Unidos” identified several rivals to the public and offered rewards for information.

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Recruiting

Recruiting narcomantas aim to draw in new recruits or flip members of rival cartels.