Mexicans living in the state of Sinaloa have received a delivery of Christmas parcels, with a message wishing them well from a leader of the Sinaloa cartel.
Wrapped in clear plastic, the baskets came with a card bearing a short message: “Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year from your friend Cholo Ivan.”
“El Cholo Ivan” is Orso Ivan Gastelum Cruz, who was the cartel’s former chief lieutenant, senior hitman and head of security for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman – currently on trial in New York.
Gastelum is one of the most infamous of Mexican "narcos", and has had numerous ballads dedicated to him. His fame only rose with his relationship with Miss Sinaloa, Maria Susana Flores, who died in a shootout with police in October 2012, an AK-47 in her hands.
A wildly popular television series detailing his life, called El Desconocido, sealed his infamy.
Gastelum was arrested with Guzman in January 2016, and remains in prison.
The Christmas baskets arrived in a series of trucks, driven by men in black, making deliveries in the towns and villages around Mocorito and Salvador Alvarado, in central Mexico.
The gifts are not the first time that the cartel has attempted "social work".
In September, after a tropical storm ravaged Sinaloa, supplies were sent – mattresses, cooking stoves and rations – with the initials JGL, for Guzman.
And last month, a witness for the prosecution in Guzman’s trial in New York told how the cartel leader had bought 50 luxury cars in the 1990s, for distribution to his friends, families and supporters.