Drug cartels leaked book of 19 rules hitmen must obey — including no swearing

A drug cartel's pamphlet outlining 19 rules its savage hitmen must obey has been leaked.

The document is said to come from Mexico's Gulf Cartel and was published by Mexican newspaper Union Jalisco.

The outlet claimed it was obtained following the so-called Guacamaya Leaks, when hackers accessed restricted information held by the country's Secretariat of National Defence (SEDENA).

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Union Jalisco reported it was seized by Mexican soldiers after they detained four Gulf Cartel members in 2021.

The four-page document includes an introduction stating "every member must comply with these principles and be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if needed".

Rules one to three all focus on "discipline" and highlight just how strict drug cartel organisations are.

They state "discipline must be rigid, firm and explained by every superior", with the underlying principle being "duty and obedience". "Orders must be complied with exactitude and precision" and questioning them is only allowed if they are "confusing".

The next section lays out a clear chain of command, from cartel members fighting on the ground to their shady overlords.

According to BorderlandBeat, sections of the document are strikingly similar to the Mexican military’s General Rules of Procedure which have been given to soldiers since 1937.

Rules four to eight declare "subordination will be maintained between hierarchical ranks". "It is forbidden to swear in front of superiors" and commanders must know their subordinates' "origin, mentality, strengths and weaknesses".

They add: "Every member will comply with and make others comply with the orders coming from the command."

The following three rules state cartel hitmen must look after themselves, maintaining appearances while keeping in good condition.

"Every member must be clean, correctly dressed, either in civilian or military clothing" with a key emphasis on turning up on time.

"Resources, materials, weaponry and vehicles" must be kept in good nick too and there is an "obligation for every member to maintain themselves in good physical and mental shape".

Rule 12 simply states that anyone who fails to comply with commands will be "severely punished".

Perhaps surprisingly, 13 says members must "protect families and citizens, treating them always with respect and dignity", maintaining "the tranquillity of civilian personnel".

Number 14 lays out what happens if a commander is incapacitated, with subordinates sworn to obey a second-in-command as if they were the first.

Rules 15 and 16 cover treachery, with the first forbidding anyone from "giving information about the organisation or mission to people who have not been trusted". The second simply states: "Any act of rebellion, insubordination, or treachery will be severely punished according to the command's order."

Cartel hitmen are paid a salary to "feed their families", according to rule 17, which means they have "a duty to put all his efforts and will into the service of the cartel". Reading between the lines might lead one to conclude those families might not be safe if the second part of that rule isn't obeyed.

Rule 18 again focuses on treachery, compelling all cartel members to report "information about an attack against the cartel's interests" and sanctioning punishment for those who don't.

The final rule again focuses on the chain of command, with requests from superiors to be "prioritised above any other duty".

It adds: "The bodyguard is prepared to sacrifice his life if necessary to protect the command since the organisation is above all of us."

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