Facebook Groups in Mexico are encouraging looting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Saqueos Covid-19 and Saqueos 2020 are just two of many Facebook pages that residents of municipalities such as Tlalnepantla, Ecatepec, Nicolás Romero, Cuautitlán Izcalli, Tultitlán, Tecámac, Zumpango, and Chalco are organizing.

“When will you arm yourself, gang?” This is one of the questions asked by those who participate in social media pages, especially Facebook, in which they call for organized looting in various supermarkets.

They justify the action saying that “they cannot leave us without food, that is why we are going to do justice. It is mandatory to go with the faces covered. The more we are, the better; society has to get ahead with or without government help. ”

Personnel from the Secretary of Public Security of the State of Mexico carry out cyber patrols on social networks, to detect and disrupt groups that are calling for looting. In coordination with the authorities of the Attorney General of the State of Mexico and business organizations, it seeks to strengthen security and inhibit these acts, official sources said.

On March 20, a group of people broke into a green pick up truck at a Chedraui store in Tecámac. Hours later, another group smashed showcases to steal cell phones at an Elektra store in Plaza Jardines de Tultitlán, where security personnel activated smoke bombs.

In these two cases, the thieves did not steal groceries, but rather a plasma television, household appliances, and cell phones, among others.

Police officers from the State of Mexico arrested a suspected person for taking photographs of establishments in the municipality of Nezahualcóyotl.

After checking the phone, they discovered that it belonged to a WhatsApp group called “Saqueos Covid-19” (COVID-19 Looting).

According to information issued by the Mexican Secretary of Security, the young man was caught thanks to the intelligence work carried out by the agency, after detecting that he was calling for looting on social networks.

C5 personnel monitoring video surveillance cameras identified the suspect, who was wearing navy blue pants with white stripes and a backpack.

Once the man who was taking photos of Central Avenue in the Valle Aragón neighborhood in Nezahualcóyotl had been identified, the police officers nearby were alerted.