The most wanted drug lord in Mexico has long been rumoured to be dead, but the man leading the hunt for him has now confirmed he is still alive.
Nemesio Ruben Oseguera Cervantes, more commonly referred to by his alias El Mencho, is the leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) – considered to be the most dangerous drug trafficking organisation in Mexico.
As a result, El Mencho is the most wanted drug lord for both Mexican and US authorities. Both are offering rewards for his capture, MEX$30million (£1.4million) and $10million (£7.6million) respectively.
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El Mencho is also one of the most elusive drug lords the country has ever seen. In fact, in recent years he appears to have disappeared completely.
This has sparked rumours he was dead, with some suggesting the CJNG has maintained the elusion that he is alive to prevent the cartel descending into chaos during a power struggle.
But DEA agent Kyle Mori, who is leading the investigation into the CJNG and the hunt for El Mencho, has now confirmed he is still alive.
In an interview on KFI AM's Unsolved with Steve Gregory, Mori was asked: "Do you know for a fact he is still alive?" He replied: "Yes. We strongly believe he is still alive, yes."
Asked how he could be so sure, he explained: "Frankly, our job is to maintain a pulse on what's going on with the cartel."
According to Insight Crime, in 2020 there were claims El Mencho built himself his own medical facility in rural Jalisco so he could be treated for a long-term kidney problem.
Narcomantas – signs erected by drug cartels to convey messages to the public – claimed he died on kidney issues in 2022. The Mezcales, a splinter group of the CJNG, also said he was dead in 2022 and announced they were ending their allegiance with the cartel.
Other unconfirmed reports suggested he died from respiratory arrest at the start of 2022.
The Mexican government investigated these claims but found no proof to substantiate them.
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