Mexico Courts Can’t Agree on ‘El Menchito’ Case

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The son of a leader of the Jalisco Cartel New Generation (CJNG) has been arrested three times and released twice by Mexico’s justice system, highlighting the difficulties authorities face in mounting viable cases against alleged high-level cartel members.

Ruben Oseguera Gonzalez, alias “El Menchito,” was first arrested in January 2014, but was released in December that same year due to lack of evidence, according to the judge

On June 23, he was arrested again on various charges and transferred to a maximum-security prison. A federal judge then ordered his release, once again citing lack of evidence. Oseguera was then taken into custody for a third time on July 1 while exiting the prison, after Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office issued a new arrest order citing Oseguera’s alleged connection with two cases of forced disappearance. 

According to the Attorney General’s Office, the US-born Oseguera, age 25, is the CJNG’s second-in-command, serving under his father, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes. 

InSight Crime Analysis 

The fact that prosecutors have been so unsuccessful in their attempts to bring down Oseguera — despite multiple arrests — does not bode well for the future of Oseguera’s case, in terms of bringing about formal charges, let alone a conviction. Oseguera’s case speaks to larger systemic challenges that authorities face in mounting viable cases against cartel leaders in Mexico. The situation is further compounded by how difficult it is for outside observers to parse whether a judge’s decision to release a captured leader is based on legitimate failures of due process, or the shadowy influence that drug cartels have long exercised over some judges in Mexico. 

SEE ALSO: Jalisco Cartel New Generation Profile

The back-and-forth saga with Oseguera is one more indication that Mexican authorities may be losing ground in the fight against the CJNG. This is a dangerous prospect, given that the CJNG has emerged as one of Mexico’s deadliest and most powerful cartels. 

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