Things That Matter

Mexico Has A New Cartel Leader: His Name Is ‘El Mencho’ And He’s Targeting Police And Instilling Fear In Communities

In recent years, as drug cartel leader after drug cartel leader has been either killed or arrested by authorities (or rival gangs), violence has continued to soar out of control in many parts of Mexico.

With the capture of El Chapo, and his subsequent extradition to the US, a major power vacuum was left in his wake. Various drug cartels and organized crime groups have been fighting for control over territory vacated by his former cartel. One leader to seemingly be rising to the top is Nemesio Cervantes – leader of Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel.

His cartel has claimed responsibility for the deaths of 14 police officers this week.

Members of an ultra-violent Mexican cartel killed at least 14 police officers on Monday, after ambushing a convoy with armored vehicles and opening fire with high-powered rifles. 

At least 9 other officers were wounded in the attack, according to the federal public security ministry.

The attack took place while police were on an operation to carry out a court order in the small town of El Aguaje, in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, which has seen a significant uptick in violence since Obrador took office last December.

Monday’s police murders are just the latest in a series of high-casualty attacks conducted by the CJNG cartel, which is headed up by 53-year-old Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes. Known as “El Mencho,” he lived in the U.S. illegally in the 1980s and served three years in prison there for selling drugs, before being deported to Mexico in 1997.

He is currently among the DEA’s “most wanted” fugitives, with a $10 million bounty on his head.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, claims his security policies are working.

At a press conference on the morning of the massacre, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador claimed his efforts to end Mexico’s gang violence problem were working. “You can’t fight fire with fire,” he said. “You can’t fight violence with violence… You have to fight evil by doing good.”

Minutes later, over a dozen police officers had been massacred.

Obrador had hoped to address Mexico’s spiraling murder rate by tackling the root causes of the violence, including corruption and poverty, but as his first full year in office draws to a close, he’s on course to presiding over a record number of killings.

Nemesio Cervantes – leader of Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel – has quickly risen to become one of Mexico’s most wanted.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official who leads the investigation to capture him told Univision Noticias that El Mencho also has found his best hideout in mountainous areas of three Mexican states controlled by his crime organization.

“He hides in mountainous parts of Jalisco, Michoacán and Colima. We believe he’s not in the cities any more,” said Kyle Mori, the DEA special agent in Los Angeles who leads the team tirelessly trying to track down the Michoacan capo also known as ‘Lord of the Roosters.’

Trying to avoid compromising the investigation started eight years ago, when the DEA noticed the JNGC’s fast growth in Mexico, Mori paused when asked specifically whether El Mencho is hiding in luxury cabins, humble homes or even caves.

“I’ll say this: It’s a combination of a lot of things. I don’t believe he spends a lot of time in the same place, or in the same type of home. It’s a combination of everything that you can imagine,” he said. “He’s definitely moving constantly.”

DEA intelligence reports suggest that Oseguera Cervantes has created his own “Golden Triangle.”

In fact, he’s been claiming refuge in the same general area where El Chapo Guzman once hid for many years, a region fertile for the cultivation of poppies and marijuana that covers parts of Chihuahua, Durango and Sinaloa.

The El Mencho bastion, however, covers a large region where narcotics are cultivated and clandestine laboratories operate and includes two major seaports – Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan and Manzanillo in Colima – where his cartel receives shipments of precursor chemicals for making synthetic drugs. The region also includes Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, Mexico’s third-largest city and home to a vigorous economy that allows it to hide its money laundering operations.

Not only has he risen the ranks as Mexico’s most wanted, El Mencho has already entered Mexican pop culture.

Credit: DEA

A traditional Mexican song known as a corrido by the group Los Plebes del Rancho already noted his rise as the new “Lord of the Mountain” – “Few know his face/He rarely comes down to towns/He moves between the mountains/From up there he runs everything.”

El Chapo’s Mother Claims That The US Illegally Extradited Her Son And She Wants Him Back

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El Chapo’s Mother Claims That The US Illegally Extradited Her Son And She Wants Him Back

ABC News / YouTube

El Chapo’s mother has reportedly asked Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to bring her son back from U.S. federal custody. María Consuelo Loera Pérez, El Chapo’s mother, claims that the U.S. illegally extradited her son from Mexico.

María Consuelo Loera Pérez, El Chapo’s mom, wants her son brought back to Mexico.

According to Daily Mail, El Chapo’s mother sent a letter to President López Obrador claiming to have information that proves that the U.S illegally extradited her son. In the letter, Loera Pérez argues that her attorneys have sufficient proof that the U.S. acted inappropriately and is asking President López Obrador to bring El Chapo back to serve his sentence in Mexican custody.

It is alleged that Loera Pérez’s attorneys are already in talks to bring El Chapo back to Mexico.

Some people have been able to find humor in the news. El Chapo was extradited and eventually convicted by U.S. authorities on a series of felonies tied to his participation in the drug trade. His involvement in cartel activities in Mexico that spilled into the U.S. led to his extradition and sentencing in U.S. custody.

The news comes after a viral video showed AMLO visiting with El Chapo’s mother.

The video, allegedly taken in Badiraguato, Sinaloa, Mexico, shows AMLO walking up and greeting Loera Pérez as she sits in a car. He can allegedly be heard telling her not to get out of the car and that he did get her letter. The mention of the letter does lend credibility to the claims of El Chapo’s mother fighting to bring him back. However, it is unclear what the letter he mentioned addressed.

The video is drawing strong reactions from people as AMLO is violating social distancing guidelines set forth to combat COVID-19.

AMLO has been panned for leaving Mexico exceptionally vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic by not moving quickly enough to set restrictions. Health authorities in Mexico are urging all 130 million citizens to stay indoors and to only leave on essential business.

Some people are more upset with the fact AMLO met with El Chapo’s mother.

“In this case, the least of the problems is the social distancing for Covid19,” @archibaldo53 tweeted. “The true problem is the significance of this visit that clarifies our doubt completely and finds López in relations with these people.”

El Chapo is currently serving a life sentence in U.S. federal custody. He was sentenced to life by a Federal District Court in Brooklyn for his drug, murder, and money laundering charges.

READ: El Chapo’s Daughter Is Using His Name And Face to Launch A Beer Brand After She Launched A Fashion Line

Ten Indigenous Musicians Were Ambushed And Shot Dead In Guerrero, Mexico—Authorities Believe The Perpetrators Were Part Of A Drug Cartel

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Ten Indigenous Musicians Were Ambushed And Shot Dead In Guerrero, Mexico—Authorities Believe The Perpetrators Were Part Of A Drug Cartel

Tony Rivera / Getty

Ten indigenous musicians were shot dead and burned in an ambush in western Mexico.

The horrible crime is believed to have been carried out by a drug cartel, that has been terrorizing indigenous groups in Guerrero Mexico for nearly 20 years.

The members of the Nahua indigenous group were returning from a party when they were attacked in the town of Chilapa in Guerrero state.

The victims, part of the Sensación Musical group, were returning to their Alcozacán community on Friday after playing the day before, said David Sánchez Luna, co-ordinator of the regional indigenous group known as CRAC-PF. Gunmen attacked their vehicle at around 14:00 local time in Mexcalcingo, he said. The victims, all men, were aged between 15 and 42.

The ‘Los Ardillos cartel’, which frequently targets indigenous people in the area, was blamed for the attack.

For over 20 years, Los Ardillos have been trafficking drugs in the mountainous region of Guerrero —throughout this time they have infamously extorted and kidnapped locals to consolidate their power and domain.

The rural ex-cop Celso Ortega Rosas, nicknamed ‘La Ardilla’, was involved in the business of poppy crops in the region of Quechultenango Guerrero, and he is the founder of the criminal group.

According to a 2015 article on El Universal, los Ardillos started kidnapping and extorting people. They gave their victims a 24 hour period to vacate their homes before taking possession of the property.  In 2008, Celso Ortega Rosas was detained for the kidnapping of a woman, the homicide of two agents of the former ‘Subprocuraduría de Investigación Especializada en Delincuencia Organizada (SEIDO)’ a body that has since dissolved and was focused on undercover investigations in the center of Guerrero state.

When the bodies of the victims were found, they were beyond recognition.

After authorities refused to release them to the families, hundreds of indigenous people blocked a road on Friday night, according to La Jornada newspaper.

Authorities shared the names of the deceased victims.

The men who lost their lives were: José Julio y Cándido Fiscaleño Hilario; Crescenciano Migueleño Coapango; Israel Tolentino Ahuelican; Israel Mendoza Pasado; Regino Fiscaleño Chautla; Antonio Mendoza Tolentino; Lorenzo Linares Jiménez; Juan Joaquín; y Marcos Fiscaleño Baltazar.

The Guerrero prosecutor’s office said it was investigating the case.

Guerrero is one of Mexico’s most violent states, where drug gangs fight for control of trafficking routes to the Pacific and other parts of the country. Los Ardillos have been linked to dozens of deaths in recent months, including many indigenous people, according to local media.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has opted for a non-confrontational approach to the cartel.

Focusing, instead, on tackling inequality central to his efforts under a policy dubbed “abrazos, no balazos” – hugs not bullets. But this policy has come under fire after a number of high-profile attacks, including an ambush in which nine members of a Mormon community were killed. The president vowed to create a new National Guard to tackle violence, but few have signed up to the force amid fear of being killed on the job.