Mexico City /
The video went viral a few hours ago. A co-pilot records the driver of the truck who, on a dirt road, is questioned by three people with grim faces -Where is he going?, asks one. “Towards the pantheon, old man”, they inform him. “Ah, then come on, well…” he orders while gesturing with his hand for her to move forward. “Pass it! pass it on”, seconded another male waving his right hand, urging the driver to continue the march.
The driver, instead of advancing, continues the conversation and exclaims “pure! maize!, pure maize, old man! Just a hat!”, he adds, while the impromptu camerawoman can’t help but let out a few laughs. The barely ten seconds of the video clip end when the driver waves goodbye, raising his thumb as a sign of approval or camaraderie.
Until last night, the publication had more than four and a half million views, 325 thousand reactions and almost 3 thousand comments. The peculiar thing was that those responsible for the supposed checkpoint were not members of organized crime, but a trio of children who were around ten years old at most.
As it was learned, the event took place on a dirt road in the state of Sinaloa, in a region where the local cartel operates, a place where the term mayiza is used to designate the followers or supporters of Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, one of the main leaders.
Two of the minors carry deflated soccer balls on their heads, like helmets. One of them has his face covered with a scarf. You can tell they’ve spent some time recreating bulletproof vests out of bits of string and cardboard that look very realistic, and two of them carry toy weapons that pretend to be an assault rifle and a grenade launcher.
Given the way they walk, carry their toy weapons, the questions they ask and the tone of voice when questioning and giving instructions to the driver, it is surprising that these children act with credibility in the way that drug traffickers usually behave.
For the record: January 2023. 16 years after the so-called drug war began, reality prevails in such a way that a scene like this has already become a child’s thing.
Mario A. Arteaga
Investigative journalist. Former career public servant