- El Mencho heads the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
- His cartel rivals the El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel.
- The CJNG maintains a presence in Mexico’s 32 states.
The Mexican drug trafficking scene is interspersed with infamous drug kingpins, with the most notable among them being incarcerated drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Widely regarded as the most influential kingpin at his peak, his narco-trafficking syndicate, the Sinaloa Cartel, is presently run by his sons.
Now, another kingpin is looking to take his place as the most notorious in the nation. Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, also known as “El Mencho,” is on a fast rise to becoming the most dominant in Mexico.
His cartel, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), has been waging war against rival cartels over the past five years. It is a strategy that has led to over 30,000 cartel-related deaths every year. His organization has also demonstrated a willingness to attack Mexican authorities.
And now, according to former DEA Chief Mike Vigil, it is unlikely that CJNG leader, El Mencho, will ever be caught. This is because of the level of influence that he wields in Mexico and the aptness to stay under the radar.
Unlike El Chapo, who had a penchant for prominence, women, and an opulent lifestyle, El Mencho has been successful at staying away from the limelight. He’s rarely ever been seen in public and delegates most of the drug trafficking and cartel-related tasks to a close group of associates.
“Make no mistake about it El Mencho is deadlier than a rattlesnake – and totally more deadly than El Chapo,” says Vigil.
According to the former narco cop, El Mencho invests more in his paramilitary forces than El Chapo ever did, and this is what sets him apart.
“El Mencho is very different from the Sinaloa cartel in that he invests a lot of money in creating paramilitary forces which are very well armed and they operate in armored vehicles.
Most of the drug traffickers, they invest in shopping malls, dairy farms, real estate jewelry but El Mencho is very astute and invests more equipment for his men and to get more men into the ranks of Jalisco New Generation.”
This strategy has allowed the CJNG cartel to expand exponentially over the past five years. Before El Chapo’s capture and subsequent extradition to the US, the CJNG syndicate had far fewer resources than the Sinaloa Cartel.
In fact, El Mencho once worked for El Chapo’s cartel as a member of its enforcement wing. Things changed drastically after El Chapo’s capture. He left a void that couldn’t quickly be filled.
The CJNG, led by El Mencho, was able to adapt quickly and gain territory previously controlled by factions allied to the Sinaloa Cartel.
In 2016, his organization kidnapped El Chapo’s sons at gunpoint at a resort in Puerto Vallarta, in Jalisco. The sons are reported to have handed over trafficking territory to the CJNG cartel to secure their release.
US Government is Targeting the CJNG Cartel
That said, the US government has made a concerted effort to dismantle CJNG operations in America. Last year, a major inter-state sting operation launched by the authorities led to the capture of over 600 CJNG members.
The move dealt a heavy blow to the group’s US operations, but it seems to be recovering quickly. In Mexico, it maintains a presence in the nation’s 32 states.