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Only 16 organized crime figures remain on Mexico’s most-wanted list

May 12, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Only 16 organized crime figures remain on Mexico’s most-wanted list

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Federal officials are working their way through Mexico’s most-wanted organized crime figures, a plan implemented by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration after he assumed office in 2012.

The goal was to apprehended 122 “ top organized crime priority targets,” or leaders of criminal gangs.

On Sunday, the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) indicated that they had made 87% progress toward their goal, with 92 of those targets in prison and 14 more dead after battles with federal forces, Mexico News Daily reported.

Of the outstanding 16, only two have been made public: Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera Cervantes, the heads of the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels, respectively.

Mexican drug lord Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, is Guzman’s longtime partner and leader of the Sinaloa Cartel

Also at the top of the list is legendary drug trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero, who was released from prison on a technicality in 2013 for the 1985 murder of a U.S. DEA agent.

All three organized crime figures remain on the DEA’s most sought after list of fugitives.

Los Zetas has been the most impacted by Peña Nieto’s strategy: 44 of its highest standing members have been captured, and five have been killed.

Notable arrests include the Treviño Morales brothers, who have been dubbed the supreme leaders of the group by the PGR.

The biggest blow to the Sinaloa Cartel was the extradition of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera to the U.S. earlier this year and his successor Damaso Lopez Nunez also known as ‘El Licenciado,’ who was arrested on May 2nd in Mexico City

Twenty more of its associates have also been arrested or killed, including one of its most violent leaders, Gonzalo Inzunza Inzunza, who was killed in December 2013 in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora.

CJNG leader Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes “El Mencho”

Four members of the Gulf Cartel have also been captured since 2012, while Galdino Mellado Cruz was shot during a firefight. Mellado, a former soldier with the Mexican Army, was an early member of Los Zetas, who was known for recruiting former soldiers.

Five Beltrán Leyva Organization members have also been captured or killed, including Juan Francisco “H2” Patrón Sánchez and Daniel Isaac “H9” Silva Gárate, who according to PGR were the leaders of the cartel.

The Juárez Cartel also lost its leader, Vicente “El Viceroy” Carrillo Fuentes, along with six its members.

Nazario “El Chayo” Moreno González, the head and founder of one of the most violent cartels, Los Caballeros Templarios and of La Familia Michoacana was killed in 2014, while his second-in-command, Servando “La Tuta” Gómez Martínez, was captured by the Federal Police.

Despite the fact that the most-wanted list has diminished, criminal violence in the country has still been on the rise.

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