One of Mexico’s most-wanted drug lords, El Mencho, is reported to have built his own private hospital in the western state of Jalisco.
The cartel boss – whose real name is Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes – has become the region’s pre-eminent villain in recent months and grabbed headlines in June after his assassins allegedly launched a brazen pre-dawn attempt to murder Mexico City’s police chief.
Earlier this month a viral social media video purportedly showing scores of El Mencho’s heavily armed foot soldiers added to that notoriety – although Mexico’s government has questioned the veracity of the footage.
This week, fresh claims about the head of Mexico’s Jalisco New Generation cartel emerged, alleging he had bankrolled the construction of a hospital.
Citing intelligence reports, the El Universal newspaper said the 54-year-old drug lord had built the clinic in El Alcíhuatl, a village about 250km south-west of Jalisco’s capital, Guadalajara.
Latin American gangsters often keep medical professionals on the payroll in order to avoid official hospitals in the event of being shot by security forces.
But El Mencho’s decision to build his own hospital reportedly stems from his reluctance to venture out of his network of rural hideouts – of which El Alcíhuatl is supposedly one – to seek treatment for kidney disease. The newspaper said the drug lord’s employees and locals also used the clinic.
El Universal called Villa Purificación, the municipality where the village is located, one of the Jalisco cartel’s key strongholds. It was here that a Mexican army helicopter was shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade during a failed 2015 attempt to capture its leader.
Since then the group – best known by its Spanish initials CJNG – has gone from strength to strength. In 2018 US authorities declared it a “top priority”, announcing a $10m reward for information leading to El Mencho’s arrest.
Source: The Guardian