Top Mexican Drug Cartel Leaders Captured or Killed in Recent Years

February 27, 2015

The Associated Press, U.S. News and World Report, 2/27/2015

hands in handcuffsMEXICO CITY (AP) — Recent captures or killings of top Mexican drug cartel leaders:

— Feb. 27, 2015: Authorities say federal police capture Servando “La Tuta” Gomez, one of the world’s most-wanted drug lords who once terrorized Michoacan state as leader of the Knights Templar cartel.

— Oct. 9, 2014: Mexican officials announce the arrest of Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, purported leader of the Juarez cartel.

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Servando ‘La Tuta’ Gomez, Mexico’s Most Wanted Drug Lord, Captured: Officials

February 27, 2015

Raul Torres and Erin McClam, NBC News, 2/27/2015

Getty Images

Getty Images

One of the most wanted drug lords in Mexico has been captured, authorities said Friday.

Servando Gomez, known as La Tuta, the leader of the Knights Templar cartel, was arrested overnight, Mexican authorities told Telemundo.

Gomez was the target of a push by President Enrique Peña Nieto to regain control of the state of Michoacán, which has been wracked by clashes between the cartel and heavily armed vigilantes trying to oust them.

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Mexico Complains About Remarks Attributed to Pope Over Drug Image

February 24, 2015

Reuters, 2/23/2015

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Reuters/Tony Gentile

aid on Monday it would send a letter to the Vatican to complain about remarks attributed to Pope Francis about the risk of Argentina suffering a criminal “Mexicanization” due to the spread of drug gangs there.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade said his government had expressed concern that the country was being “stigmatized” as a land of drug traffickers in an email attributed to Francis published in Argentina over the weekend.

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Mexico Removes Security Envoy From Troubled Michoacan

January 23, 2015

ABC News, 1/22/2015

LimesThe federal security commissioner appointed a little over a year ago for the troubled western state of Michoacan confirmed Thursday that he is being withdrawn by Mexico’s government.

Security envoy Alfredo Castillo will be replaced by an army general, Felipe Gurrola, who will play a more limited role leading federal security forces in Michoacan, a largely agricultural state known for its limes and avocados but also social unrest and drug gang violence.

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Mexico Increases Number of Missing to 22,322

August 22, 2014

08/21/14 ABC News

mexico-securityThe Mexican government has increased its calculation of the number of people who have disappeared since the start of the country’s drug war in 2006 and now lists 22,322 as missing, officials said Thursday. It had said in May that 8,000 people were missing.

Assistant Attorney General Mariana Benitez said 12,532 people went missing during the 2006-12 administration of President Felipe Calderon, who declared war on drug traffickers. An additional 9,790 have disappeared since President Enrique Pena Nieto took office on Dec. 1, 2012.

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Mexico Drug War: “Government Leaders Are Gravediggers for Bad News” – Sergio Aguayo

July 16, 2014

07/16/14 Reforma: Sergio Aguayo – Translated by Mexico Voices

drug warIt is the war’s worst slaughter. In Coahuila in 2011 Los Zetas disappeared 400 people. The PRI [Party of the Institutional Revolution, Peña Nieto’s party] state government investigated but, instead of reporting it, passed the information to the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) of Marisela Morales and Felipe Calderón, who secretly buried it.

In the municipality of Allende, two young men from wealthy families and prestigious private universities–José Luis Garza Gaytán and Héctor Moreno Villanueva–worked for Los Zetas; one day they ran away to the United States with five million dollars [sic] and a notebook containing compromising information. Drug boss Zeta-40 spoke clearly: if the fugitives didn’t return the money and notebook, Los Zetas would kill their families. They didn’t respond, and the Zetas occupied Allende (March 2011); then, aided by police in the municipality governed by the PAN [National Action Party of President Calderón], they snatched [disappeared] about 300 men and women, elderly and children, relatives and employees; they took the opportunity to kill 100 of them.

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Tamaulipas, Cradle of Mexico’s Drug War, Erupts

June 27, 2014

06/26/14 Huffington Post

APTOPIX Mexico Election ViolenceThe Mexican state of Tamaulipas, birthplace of the country’s oldest criminal organization, the Gulf Cartel, is again awash in blood. Just across the Rio Grande from Texas and abutting the Gulf of Mexico, neither a change of presidents, seemingly endless battles within the cartel and with their former allies turned deadly enemies Los Zetas, years of high-profile killings and arrests of cartel leaders, or the United States’ own seemingly endless war on drugs have made a dent in the violence.

While some U.S. publications have myopically lauded the government of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto as “saving Mexico” since he took over from his predecessor Felipe Calderón’s militarized battle with the country’s narcos, the reality on the ground tells a different story.

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