Authorities in Mexico have arrested the wife of the leader of the CJNG on charges she helped the group manage its dirty money, a potentially significant setback for the country’s most powerful criminal organization.
Mexican marines arrested Rosalinda González Valencia on May 26 in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, the capital of the central state of Jalisco, on charges of organized crime and money laundering.
González Valencia is the wife of Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias “El Mencho,” the leader of the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG). She allegedly helped handle the group's finances.
González Valencia is also the sister of Abigael González Valencia, who was arrested in February 2015 and is presumed to be the leader of the CJNG’s financial arm known as the Cuinis, which helped propel the group’s rise to power, according to US authorities.
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After the arrest, Jalisco Governor Aristóteles Sandoval announced that authorities were reinforcing security throughout the state as a “preventive measure” against any possible attacks from criminal groups in response. No such attacks have occurred.
The arrest of El Mencho’s wife comes just days after a wave of violence swept across the CJNG's home state. On May 21, armed men stormed a restaurant in Guadalajara and attacked former state prosecutor Luis Carlos Nájera. The attack was attributed to the CJNG, and was followed by more shootouts and roadblocks that left several injured and an 8-month-old infant dead.
InSight Crime Analysis
The detention of Rosalinda González Valencia is the latest in a string of arrests of financial operators linked to the CJNG, which could be a sign that authorities are following the group's money -- and it may be leading them closer to El Mencho himself.
After the February 2015 arrest of Rosalinda González Valencia's brother Abigael, several other members of her immediate family were also detained. In January 2016, Gerardo González Valencia was arrested in Uruguay and Elvis González Valencia was arrested in Mexico. Then, in December 2017, Brazilian authorities arrested yet another González Valencia brother, José, alias “La Chepa."
The González Valencia family is thought to be at the head of the Cuinis, and the arrests in disparate locations suggest authorities across the region -- including in the United States -- are cooperating to take down the financial arm of the CJNG.
SEE ALSO: Jalisco Cartel New Generation Profile
Stephen Woodman, a freelance journalist based in Guadalajara, told InSight Crime that the recent blows to the CJNG suggest that authorities may be “closing in” on El Mencho.
“There have been several high-profile arrests over the past few years, and that does make it seem like authorities are moving in the direction of shutting him [El Mencho] and the Cuinis down,” Woodman told InSight Crime.
The financial wing of the CJNG is not the only part of the group that has been hit hard recently. A regional boss for the CJNG in the western state of Michoacán, Gerardo “N,” alias “El Cachas,” was also arrested in the operation that swept up El Mencho’s wife. And in a separate operation on May 27, Mexico’s marines also detained Juan José "N," alias “El Abuelo,” a former self-defense force leader and another CJNG operator in Michoacán. An alleged supplier of precursor chemicals for the CJNG, Javier “N,” was also recently arrested.