Mexican authorities have arrested the leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel Servando Gomez, according to federal #Police. The infamous drug lord was arrested early Friday in Morelia, which is the capital of Michoacan state, after months of intelligence work in the region.
The government has repeatedly accused the Knights Templar drug organization of being involved with killings, kidnappings, extortion and drug trafficking. Knights Templar has operated out of Michoacan, which is situated in central-western Mexico, for years. It along with other vigilante groups have armed themselves and frequently patrol streets.
Citizens have long accused the government of not taking complaints against the cartel seriously and for failing to protect them. Last year, the federal government offered recognition to the vigilante groups in exchange for them disarming themselves. An unsuccessful disarmament drive resulted in the government sending troops to the region. Authorities say that the presence of government armed forces has weakened Knights Templar.
Gomez, who is known by his nicknames "El Profe" and "La Tuta", was a school teacher before he became one of the most powerful men in Mexico. He has evaded capture for years, even though other senior members of his cartel were either killed or captured.
At the time of his arrest, there was a $2 million bounty on his head. Unlike other drug lords in the country, Gomez was often seen speaking against the government in YouTube videos and even to local media.
Primarily a drug cartel, Knights Templar controls much of the lucrative methamphetamine trade in the west of the country. But the organization has also made millions of dollars from illegal iron ore mining and for taking control of Lazaro Cardenas, the state's international port.
Gomez's capture of their leader is a major victory for the government of Enrique Pena Nieto, which undertook a major offensive against the cartels in 2013. As part of that campaign, just last year, the federal government managed to detain the country's most notorious drug lord leader of the Sinaloa Cartel Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman. #Security