The brother of one of Mexico’s top drug lords has been arrested, the Mexican military said, marking another high-profile capture amid a wave of violence that has overwhelmed the country.
Antonio Oseguera Cervantes, brother of the Jalisco New Generation cartel boss known as “El Mencho”, was arrested on Tuesday in the state of Jalisco by the Mexican army working with the national guard, the attorney general’s office, and the national intelligence agency.
His brother, Nemesio, is one of the most wanted men in Mexico: the US government has offered a $10m reward for any information that could lead to his capture, one of the largest such rewards offered by the US state department’s narcotics rewards program.
According to the military, Oseguera was involved in money laundering, purchasing large quantities of weapons, and coordinating violent attacks against rival groups, as well as international drug trafficking.
The arrest “represents a forceful blow to one of the criminal organizations in the country, since he is considered within its structure as one of the alleged main logistical and financial operators and generators of violence”, the Mexican military said in a statement.
In line with Mexican laws, the military identified him only as Antonio “N”; however, it has been widely reported in the local press that the man arrested is El Mencho’s brother. A document apparently from Mexico’s security ministry shared on social media showed that a man named Antonio Oseguera Cervantes had been arrested on Tuesday.
The arrest comes just days after the Mexican military announced that it had deployed some 2,000 troops to Jalisco state after one of its colonels, José Isidro Grimaldo Muñoz, had gone missing while vacationing in the area.
One of the most powerful and well-armed groups in Mexico, the Jalisco cartel is known for its fearsome displays of force, often posting videos with armored cars and heavily armed men on social media.
Still, though symbolically significant, Oseguera’s detention is unlikely to cause a major impact on the organization, said Mexico City security analyst Alejandro Hope.
“Is it going to dismantle the Jalisco cartel? I doubt it,” Hope said. “After so many captures of so many capos, we should be pretty skeptical about its effect.”
Meanwhile, the arrest could spark further violence: previous attempts to detain the cartel’s leaders have sparked waves of violence, with vehicles and stores set ablaze in the surrounding areas.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some attempt to sabotage the arrest,” Hope said.