Wanted in the United States and Mexico, with a $2 million bounty offered for his capture, the drug lord Servando “La Tuta” Gomez was finally captured.
He was captured Friday morning, Feb. 27, in Morelia, 180 miles west of Mexico City, by the federal police. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration congratulated the Mexican police for the successful operation.
In comparison to other drug lords, the former teacher and Mexico’s most-wanted fugitive was not shy when it came to being in the spotlight. From his very public “hiding place” he would post videos and audiotapes, some making it on YouTube, where he would be seen or heard along with politicians or police officers, thus showing their implications in various crimes.
He was the leader of the criminal organization La Familia which later became the Knights Templar. The group had great power dominating the entire state of Michoacan, found on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The organization had connections to various people in city halls and police departments, thus having enough protection to monopolize the agricultural business.
This group could even decide when lime and avocado farmers (thousands of producers) would plant, harvest and sell their produce in the market. La Familia would even decide the selling price.
The organization terrorized the community and controlled them through threats, kidnapping, rapes and extortion.
What distinguished this gang from other criminal organization was that it created a sort of cult-like mystique due to its beliefs and actions, saying La Familia was like a savior for Michoacan, keeping the population safe from the siege of rival gangs. One of its former leaders, although having passed away, is still seen by followers as a dark saint.
With all of this, the organization managed to become a methamphetamine giant in the drug business.
President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is intensely criticized for failing to reduce the number of violent acts and crimes in the country, confirmed Gomez’s arrest after which he quickly took the praise for the success of the operation.
Via social media, he made the following statement:
“This is the result of intense intelligence work by the security institutions. With this detention, the rule of law in the country is being fortified, and we continue advancing toward a Mexico in Peace.”
Image Source: BBC News