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Profile: Jalisco cartel boss Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes

By David Amoruso

Meet the man who seeks to replace Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman as Mexico’s most powerful drug lord. Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes is a vicious and calculating gangster who is on his way to putting his Jalisco New Generation Cartel at the top of the drug underworld.

The line between good and evil is extremely thin in Mexico. A country where corruption has eroded every pillar of society and has turned the nation into hell on earth. No surprise then that Oseguera Cervantes began his criminal career working as a policeman in Tomatlan, in southern Jalisco. Growing up in the region of Tierra Caliente of Michoacán, an area notorious for its long history of marijuana and poppy cultivation, the temptation of drug money was always there.

“El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes continued working as a cop up until a few years ago, when he no longer saw any need for the uniform and became a cartel boss full time. He got his start working for the Milenio cartel, which took its orders from El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel.

After the death of several of its leaders, the Milenio cartel fell apart and various factions fought for control of the area, among them Oseguera Cervantes, who, together with several others, founded the Jalisco New Generation cartel.

The Jalisco New Generation cartel set itself apart from the other groups by its sheer brazen less and extremely violent behavior. They made their presence felt in 2011 by a public display of their vicious modus operandi, dumping two trucks filled with 35 bodies at an underpass near a shopping mall.

The grisly scene was accompanied by a message:

“No more extortions, no more killings of innocent people! Zetas in the state of Veracruz and politicians helping them: This is going to happen to you, or we can shoot you as we did to you guys before too. People of Veracruz, do not allow yourselves to be extorted; do not pay for protection; if you do is because you want to. This is the only thing these people (Los Zetas) can do. This is going to happen to all the Zetas-fucks who continue to operate in Veracruz. This territory has a new proprietor.”

— Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generation

It later turned out that none of the dead had been part of Los Zetas, or even organized crime for that matter. This was just psychological warfare, pure propaganda. Who needed the truth when one had such a horrific display?

The Jalisco New Generation cartel declared war on all others who stood in its way. In recent years they have killed over 100 officials and police of Jalisco in retaliation for arresting some of its members or to intimidate those who persecute Oseguera Cervantes. When authorities arrested Oseguera Cervantes’s son, the Jalisco cartel shot down a Mexican army helicopter as repercussion in 2015, the first cartel to execute such an action.

Under Oseguera Cervantes’ leadership, the Jalisco New Generation cartel grew into the third most powerful cartel in Mexico. An amazing feat, considering they are the new kid on the block. They are present in nine Mexican states and are one of the leading distributors of synthetic drugs into the United States.

As a final sign of their arrival at the top of the drug world, the Jalisco New Generation cartel is rumored to have been behind the mysterious kidnapping and release of one of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's sons.

Authorities in Jalisco told the BBC that, “[The Jalisco New Generation cartel] is the main enemy of the state, we consider it extremely dangerous.” An understatement if there ever was one.

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