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Drug cartel hitmen hand out Christmas presents to kids as crime boss plays Santa

Drug cartel hitmen were spotted dispensing Christmas joy to crowds of children in Guadalajara, Mexico, last week.

Footage on social media showed supposed members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) – considered to be the country's most dangerous criminal organisation – riding through Guadalajara on vehicles draped in Christmas lights and decorations.

One pick-up truck had a gigantic Father Christmas attached, others had penguins or inflatable reindeer.

READ MORE: 'Tony Montana' drug lord was building 'narco tank' fleet and hid as 'office employee'

Crowds were seen gathered around the convoy as the cartel members handed out presents.

The practice of handing out gifts to the general public isn't new and is used by cartels to win hearts and minds.

Earlier this year, the CJNG handed out Gucci bags and footballs emblazoned with their branding. Several cartels also gave out care packages during the Covid-19 lockdowns and on previous Christmases there have been videos of hitmen handing out turkeys.

A caption on one of these latest videos read: "Mr. RR gives away toys."

According to BorderlandBeat, the caption refers to Ricardo Ruiz Velasco, also known as El Tripa, who is a high-ranking lieutenant in the CJNG.

A voice can also be heard in one of the clips saying: "These are (Ruiz's) people. They say he doesn't give anything.

"Why doesn't the government do the same thing?"

Ruiz reportedly oversees the CJNG's propaganda videos, which often show men armed with assault rifles delivering messages to camera or posing around luxury cars while wearing the gang's four-letter insignia.

This has earned him the nickname 'The YouTuber'.

According to government documents that were leaked earlier this year, the Mexican Army tried to capture Ruiz in August after his location was compromised in a music video.

He was released after his men launched a series of attacks against government forces in retaliation.

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