EspañolMexican federal forces have captured one of the most powerful drug kingpins in the country, Servando “La Tuta” Gómez Martínez. The arrest took place on Friday, February 27, in the city of Morelia in Michoacán state, according to police.
“Months of intelligence work from the federal police, without a single shot being fired,” resulted in La Tuta’s arrest, an anonymous official within the Mexican National Security Commission told the Associated Press.
La Tuta, a 49-year-old former teacher, has led the Knights Templar cartel since 2014, after the group’s founders were killed in clash with with police earlier that year.
On Wednesday, federal forces arrested several people linked to the drug lord in his hometown of Arteaga, which may have led to Gómez’s arrest, according to a report from the Mexican news outlet Milenio.
Gómez was a very public cartel leader, who often posted videos on YouTube in which he railed against political corruption in Michoacán and across Mexico. In 2009, Gómez became a local celebrity in Michoacán after calling in to a live radio show.
“I know what I represent and what I am, and I know that some day something will happen to me.… I know I am a criminal, and I won’t be forgiven,” he admitted.
Gómez is also known as “El Profe” (The Professor) for his previous job at a rural school in Michoacán, which he left in 2009. “I had a very healthy and honest job, but I wasn’t satisfied, because of my aspirations, my personality,” he once explained.
He began his career in the illegal drug trade transporting marijuana, before becoming in the mid-2000s a top leader of La Familia, the predecessor cartel of the Knights Templar.
The Mexican Attorney General’s Office considered Gómez one of the most violent criminals in the country and placed a bounty of over US$2 million for those providing information that would lead to his capture.