Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico arrests Jalisco New Generation drug lord El Menchito

Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, known as El Menchito Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Oseguera Gonzalez is believed to be in his early 20s

Mexican security forces say they have arrested one of the leaders of the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel.

Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, known as El Menchito, is believed to be the second-in-command in the criminal organisation led by his father.

He was arrested in a major operation that involved dozens of soldiers.

The New Generation cartel is involved in large-scale drug trafficking along Mexico's Pacific Coast.

It is said to work together with the Sinaloa cartel, led by the most wanted man in Mexico, Joaquin 'Shorty' Guzman.

'Cash and guns'

Oseguera Gonzalez, who was believed to control the cartel's finances, was arrested in Zapopan, a city in the Greater Guadalajara area of Jalisco state.

Roads were blocked and dozens of soldiers and policemen were deployed in the high profile operation, which was backed up a helicopter.

The police say gang members reacted by setting buses alight in Zapopan and shooting at passing vehicles.

Mexican officials say they seized "a large amount of cash," weapons and ammunition in the raid.

"There are indications that Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez was in charge of buying and selling drugs produced in South America," said Mexico's National Public Security System Secretary Monte Alejandro Rubido.

He was also in charge of "ordering the execution of those who refused to collaborate with the organisation and to make sure rival organisations were kept out of Colima and Jalisco states," said Mr Rubido.

Michoacan vigilantes

The New Generation gang is allegedly led by El Menchito's father, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, known as El Mencho.

Last year, he managed to escape unscathed from a similar operation in Jalisco state, according to the Milenio newspaper.

The New Generation gang is engaged in a turf war with the Knights Templar cartel, which in recent years took control of criminal activities in neighbouring Michoacan state.

Vigilante groups in Michoacan launched an offensive against the Knights Templar earlier this month aimed at ridding the state of the criminal gang.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Police say gang members burned buses in Jalisco in protest against the arrest

The Knights Templar accused the "self-defence" groups of acting on behalf of the New Generation cartel, something they fiercely reject.

Earlier this week, the vigilante groups in Michoacan agreed to join the official security forces.

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