Mexico’s most dangerous cartel makes plea to enemies after brutal murders

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Mexico's alleged most dangerous cartel has made a plea to its enemies to protect innocent civilians following a spree of brutal murders.

A video claiming to be from Mexico’s powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) circulated on social media has urged that fighting be kept between criminal groups to avoid harming those not directly involved.

Two Jesuit priests and a tour guide were killed last month in a suspected run-in with a wanted drug trafficker in the border state of Chihuahua, a crime that drew condemnation from Pope Francis.

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According to the St Kitts & Nevis Observer newspaper, more than 30,000 people were murdered in Mexico last year, with much of the violence linked to fighting between rival drug trafficking organisations.

“I ask you that the war remains between us, that we don’t involve anyone who shouldn’t be involved,” said a man in the video. “We are people who are for the people,” he added.

In the name of the semi-militarised cartel’s shadowy drug boss Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho", he urged rival cartels across the country to spare doctors, medical personnel and teachers.

A source familiar with cartels said it appeared that the video was real but could not say whether it was the voice of Oseguera.

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According to InSight Crime, an organisation that studies organised criminal activities in Latin America, CJNG is leaving a trail of violence in Mexico and quietly expanding its network in Guatemala, it said in May.

Oseguera, a former policeman, has masterminded the CJNG’s emergence as a criminal empire spanning five continents and a rival to the Sinaloa Cartel of captured drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who is now serving a life sentence in a US prison for his crimes.

Guzman oversaw operations that saw huge amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin produced, smuggled into, and distributed throughout the US and Europe, regarded as the world's foremost markets for such products.

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