In Guadalajara, you often never know who your neighbors are. Mexican authorities Monday apprehended Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez (“El Menchito”), son of the presumed leader of the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generacion (CJNG), in an upmarket gated community in the Lomas de Altamira neighborhood of Zapopan. No weapons were fired during Monday’s arrest, which was carried out by the Mexican Army and federal police.
Residents of Calle Esparta, located just off Avenida Americas, midway between Plaza Patria and Zapopan Centro, said they had no inkling that a neighbor living amongst them in a seven-million-peso property was one of the state’s most wanted criminals.
Photographs released by the federal Attorney General’s Office showed Oseguera Gonzalez to have had recent surgery on his nose, possibly an attempt to change his physical identity.
Oseguera Gonzalez was detained in January 2014 along with four others but released by a judge due to “lack of evidence.” News agencies reported at the time that officers had refused a bribe of around a million dollars to help him escape.
The federal Attorney General’s Office later put up a bounty of two million pesos for his recapture.
The CJNG has risen from virtual obscurity to international prominence in a matter of a few years and, together with the Sinaloa Cartel, is now considered the most powerful and violent criminal/drug trafficking organization in Mexico.
On May 1, the CJNG ordered a violent statewide reaction to the start of a federal operation aimed at capturing its leaders and dismantling the cartel. An Army helicopter was shot down in southern Jalisco, killing ten, while buses, cars, gas stations and private business were torched in coordinated incidents in Guadalajara and other parts of the state. Last month, 42 presumed members of the cartel were killed in a three-hour gun battle with federal police at a ranch in the neighboring state of Michoacan.