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Mexico's military arrests wife of powerful drug lord ‘El Mencho’

Published: Updated:

Mexico's military on Tuesday arrested the wife of drug lord Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho,” in the western state of Jalisco, sparking concerns about possible violent reprisals by his gang, Mexican officials said.

Rosalinda Gonzalez Valencia was caught in Zapopan, part of the conurbation of the city of Guadalajara, in “a significant blow to the financial structure of organized crime in the state of Jalisco,” the defense ministry said in a statement.

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Separately, a Mexican official said two Marines had been abducted in Zapopan and that the government was concerned the arrest of Gonzalez could provoke a reaction from her husband's gang, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

Gonzalez was detained for various crimes, with the evidence pointing to her involvement in “the illicit financial operation of an organized crime group,” the ministry added.

Oseguera, a former policeman, is arguably the most wanted kingpin in Mexico. The violent CJNG is widely viewed as the most powerful gang in Mexico alongside the Sinaloa Cartel.

Oseguera, who had a $10 million bounty placed on his head by US authorities in 2018, has masterminded the CJNG's emergence as a criminal empire spanning five continents and is one of few long-term cartel leaders to have evaded capture.

The CJNG has been blamed for smuggling vast quantities of drugs, including synthetic opioid fentanyl, into the US, where overdose deaths mostly linked to fentanyl spiked to more than 93,000 in 2020, US data shows.

Gonzalez was previously arrested in May 2018 but was released on bail a few months later.

Oseguera's daughter, Jessica Johanna Oseguera Gonzalez, was arrested in February 2020, and last May pleaded guilty in a US court to carrying out financial dealings with Mexican firms identified as narcotics traffickers.

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