El Mencho, Mexico’s most wanted drug boss

Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, aka El Mencho, is Mexico’s most wanted drug boss. Cervantes (1966) is the leader of the Jalisco cartel, which is considered the largest drug organization in Mexico. A profile of the man, who grew up in a family that grew avocados and started guarding a marijuana plantation at the age of 14.

At the end of his teenage years, Cervantes immigrated to the US illegally. There he lived under different pseudonyms and was arrested a number of times for dealing drugs. At the age of 30, he was deported to Mexico after a five-year prison sentence.

After a short career with the police of the province of Jalisco, El Mencho (his nickname is a phonetic corruption of his first name Nemesio) joined the Milenio cartel, where he initially became one of the assassins. He married Rosalinda González Valencia, whose father and brother occupied important positions in the cartel. Partly due to his marriage, Cervantes gained an increasingly prominent position within the organization.

The Milenio cartel started to cooperate with the Sinaloa cartel in the states of Jalisco and Colima. They ran the drug transports and finances there and organized rent killings for the then powerful Sinalao organization. After a number of leaders of the Milenio cartel were arrested, a fight broke out over the hegemony of the cartel, with the group around El Mencho coming out victorious. They gave themselves a new name: Cártel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, or CJNG for short.

Under the leadership of Cervantes, CJNG gained considerable influence. This was partly due to the violent action of the cartel, but also due to the large-scale bribing of officials. Because the organization did not shy away from attacking the police and the army (a helicopter was taken down from the army, see photo), El Mencho became an increasingly enemy of the Mexican authorities.

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