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.”

With ‘El Chapo’ Behind Bars The Government Has Seized His Homes And Now They’re Putting Them Up For Auction

Things That Matter

With ‘El Chapo’ Behind Bars The Government Has Seized His Homes And Now They’re Putting Them Up For Auction

RevistaLatitud21 / Instagram

Some would say that interest rates are so low at the moment, that it’s a prime time to buy a house. But you know what’s an even better reason to check out what’s on the market? Three words: El Chapo’s house. That’s right, amigas. Now that the ex-leader of the Sinaloa Cartel is definitively stuck with a pretty hefty life sentence, his goods are up for sale. His house and worldly possessions, that is. Not the drugs and other contraband.

We should probably mention: it’s not just one house being auctioned, it’s six.

Credit: badirawood / Instagram

Imagine owning six houses. That’s definitely living the dream. Although, in Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán’s case, he was pretty much confined to his living quarters when he was on the run. Granted, we can make an educated guess that there’s probably only so much you can do, even in a super duper decked-out pad. Poor El Chapo had it pretty rough, what with having to hide from the authorities across six homes. Especially in this economy. Okay, okay, we can only get away with so much sarcasm.

Apparently bidding on the drug lord’s home in Calle Rio Humaya will start at $107,349.

Credit: revistalatitud21 / Instagram

But, don’t be fooled: not all of his houses are worth the same. It’s thought that, altogether, his collection of houses should fetch at least a staggering 19.5 million Mexican pesos – or, 1 million US dollars worth. Despite their impressive price tag, it’s worth noting that each of the properties also come fully furnished, sporting things such as television sets, washing and drying machines, microwaves and even exercise machines! That makes them a bargain, right?

And sure, they’re a bargain for anyone who’s watched too many Netflix true crime specials.

Apparently one of the homes is sporting a secret escape tunnel underneath a bathtub. The story behind this fateful tunnel is that the Mexican military had originally barged into El Chapo’s home in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in the early hours of a mid-February morning, back in 2004. The bathtub tunnel is credited with being the reason why El Chapo was able to escape the military’s clutches through an above ground drainage system. That is, until El Chapo was eventually captured, just one week after the raid.

Rumor has it that quite a few of the kingpin’s houses are connected by tunnels.

Credit: AsteroidBuzz / Pinterest

After all, tunneling seemed to be El Chapo’s favorite way to get around: he previously managed to escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 by tunneling out through a shower stall. Unfortunately, though, we’re yet to hear of any word about whether the laundry cart El Chapo used in his 2001 prison break is also included in any of the auctions.

All jokes aside, the real question is whether there will be a lot of interest in the properties, or not.

Credit: haberciyizkibiz / Instagram

And we’re not just talking about the price point. One of the homes was originally purchased by El Chapo for the mother of his son, Ovidio Guzmán López. While the property itself has some pretty substantial draws – we’re talking multiple bedrooms, and an outdoor backyard pool – it’s also connected to a guy who is still on the run, and is very much wanted by the United States. There’s a high chance he might not necessarily want to just let go of a three-storey home that’s worth over half a million dollars. Or other things like the two luxury ships and convoy pricey sports cars. You know, the Ford Mustangs, Jaguars, and Mercedes limousines.

And it may not entirely be up to Guzmán López. El Chapo’s kingpin status fell to his sons after his arrest.

Credit: the economist / Instagram

Word on the street has it that the Mexican government had arrested Guzmán López back in October, trying to deal a real blow to the cartels. However, the cartels retaliated by attacking a housing complex designed for military families. 14 people died during the shootouts, resulting in the government releasing Guzmán López to de-escalate the violence. With a reaction like that from the cartels over Guzmán López’s capture, it begs the question as to whether the sale of El Chapo’s homes may inspire copycat attacks during the auctions themselves, or on the new homeowners themselves.

Anyway, those daunting questions aside, here’s hoping that the Mexican government, who are responsible for the sale, see a proper payday from this series of El Chapo properties. The intention for the funds is to see them donated to a children’s music program based in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

The ‘El Chapo’ Family Is In The Headlines Again But This Time It’s Because One Family Member Could Be Joining A VH1 Show

Entertainment

The ‘El Chapo’ Family Is In The Headlines Again But This Time It’s Because One Family Member Could Be Joining A VH1 Show

Spencer Platt / Getty

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has been in the news a lot recently. From his high-profile criminal case in the United States (that resulted in multiple life sentences) to the failed capture of his son in a Mexican police sting, the El Chapo name has been in many headlines.

Now, El Chapo’s wife is in the spotlight herself for the rumors of her possible casting in a hit VH1 show – Cartel Crew.

El Chapo’s wife, Emma Coronel Aispuro, is reportedly in talks to join the cast of VH1’s Cartel Crew.

According to TMZ, Aispuro had a meeting with Michael Blanco (who is the son of Griselda Blanco) in Miami. Those close to the situation claim that Blanco was talking to Aispuro about her possibly joining the reality show’s cast. The meeting seemingly took place on Aispuro’s yacht and Micheal’s girlfriend, Marie, was also in attendance, judging from the pictures TMZ was able to obtain.

Coronel, who is barred from seeing her hubby who is locked up in the nation’s only supermax facility in Colorado, was recently in Miami for a round of meetings to discuss joining the reality TV show, TMZ said.

Michael and his partner, Marie, pulled up on their boat for the face-to-face meeting with Coronel in an effort to get her to join the reality show, which is currently in its second season.

Getting Aispuro to join the show would be a stretch for VH1.

Unlike the rest of the cast, El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel is still operating at a high level. Her husband is also working on appealing his life sentence. This could limit her dialogue on the show in an effort not to ruin El Chapo’s chances of regaining his freedom. Still, insiders tell TMZ that a deal is on the table for Aispuro to join the cast. If she agrees, her segments will start production immediately. 

Authorities in Mexico on Wednesday showed dramatic helmet cam footage of the moment Guzman’s son was captured by police earlier this month before the government released him after an ambush by cartel gunmen killed at least eight people.

Cartel Crew is a popular show for the network and landing such a big name could really help drive the network’s success.

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 17: Emma Coronel Aispuro, wife of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, is surrounded by security as she arrives at federal court on July 17, 2019 in New York City. El Chapo was found guilty on all charges in a drug conspiracy trial and will be sentenced this morning. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

According to VH1, “Cartel Crew” aims to look at the lives of eight cartel descendants “as they navigate adulthood and the effects the legacy has had on their upbringing.” The subjects allege to have disconnected themselves from their past, the network says, and hope to make a name for themselves beyond the drug world.

The show already has another successful season under it’s belt.

Cartel Crew is currently shooting its second season. Along with Blanco, Aispuro would be joined by Marie Ramirez-D’Ariano, Kat Flores, Stephanie Acevedo, Nicole Zavala, Michael Zavala, Carlos Oliveros, and Dayana Castellanos if she signs on.