HomeNewsAnalysisCould the Jalisco Cartel's 'El Mencho' Really Be a Billionaire?
ANALYSIS

Could the Jalisco Cartel's 'El Mencho' Really Be a Billionaire?

EL MENCHO / 21 AUG 2019 BY SINEMBARGO EN

The US Drug Enforcement Administration believes that Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho,” the leader of Mexico’s Jalisco Cartel New Generation and the main target of both US and Mexican officials in recent years, could have a fortune as large as $1 billion.

El Mencho has lost “luxurious cabins built on a lagoon on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, more than 100 Japanese restaurants, shopping malls, newspapers, real estate, a tequila brand that tried to export to Europe, gold bars used to launder money and even a ranch where there were exotic animals, including a Bengal tiger and endangered birds," according to a report by Univision.

Until now, the wealth of El Mencho has been unknown. Although the figure released by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is only an estimate, the amount gives an idea of the magnitude of the drug trade he controls.

"I would say he has at least $500 million and could possess more than $1 billion," Kyle Mori told Univision. Mori is the head of the DEA team tasked with finding El Mencho. A few days ago, Univision reported that El Mencho could be hiding in the mountainous areas of three Mexican states controlled by his criminal organization.

*This article was originally published by Sin Embargo. It was translated, edited for clarity and reprinted with permission, but does not necessarily reflect the views of InSight Crime. See the Spanish original here.

“He hides in mountainous areas in Jalisco, Michoacán and Colima. We believe he is no longer in the cities,” according to Mori. Although the fortune of the Mexican drug trafficker could reach $1 billion, El Mencho is not a boss who squanders his money. "It's very difficult to drive a Lamborghini or a Ferrari when you live in the mountains being chased," Mori said.

Mori told Univision that El Mencho has made few mistakes. Thanks to his experience in the streets, capturing him has been difficult. “He’s an intelligent man. He’s very good at what he does. It's like a cat and mouse game. He makes some moves and we have to make ours in order to capture him,” he said.

“You have heard stories of “El Chapo” [former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán Loera] entering a restaurant, taking away all the cell phones of those dining, paying everyone’s bills and disappearing in Culiacán. El Mencho won't do that. He doesn't mind living in the mountains like a rancher. That complicates his capture. Where was El Chapo captured? Always in cities,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho," Profile

Likewise, the US official stressed that another factor favoring the drug trafficker is that he does not use drugs. He's in good health and excellent physical condition due to his military discipline.

“The Jalisco Cartel New Generation (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación — CJNG) perform many violent acts: beheadings, dissolving bodies in acid, public executions, tearing out people's hearts, killing women and children, putting bombs on people. It happens almost every day. El Chapo was violent, but El Mencho has taken it to a new level,” Mori said.

The DEA fears that the CJNG is currently the largest criminal organization in Mexico, according to the 37-year-old agent, matching the amount of narcotics distributed by the Sinaloa Cartel in the United States.

"In my opinion, the CJNG is moving more drugs to the United States, is responsible for more violence in Mexico and is moving a larger volume of money than the Sinaloa Cartel," he concluded.

*This article was originally published by Sin Embargo. It was translated, edited for clarity and reprinted with permission, but does not necessarily reflect the views of InSight Crime. See the Spanish original here.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 23 AUG 2011

In a video interview, a hitman talks calmly about killing 300 people in his career working for a Mexican cartel,…

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / 16 FEB 2012

Officials have dismantled a sex trafficking ring in central Mexico which reportedly smuggled teenage girls to the US, where they…

HOMICIDES / 30 MAR 2017

Mexico's security strategy for its 50 most violent municipalities has largely failed to bear fruit after six months, as criminal…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…