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Capture of Servando Gómez should relieve some pressure on Mexican authorities

Responding to news of the capture of Servando Gómez, Dr Benjamin Smith, associate professor of Latin American history at the University of Warwick, said: "Mexican authorities have announced the capture of Servando Gómez Martínez, aka “La Tuta”, the head of the Knights Templar drug cartel. Charismatic, media-savvy Gómez took over the cartel in 2013 with the death of the former leader Narciso “the craziest one” Moreno. The Knights Templar cartel gained notoriety during the 2000s for its attempts to overlay drug trafficking with a religious ideology.

“The arrest follows a year of increased government pressure on drug cartels in the western state of Michoacán. In 2013 Mexican authorities welded dozens of independent, village-based self-defence groups into a new Rural Police . At the time, the government received ample criticism and was accused of doing scant checks on the personnel of the new force. But, this arrest, on the eve of President Peña Nieto’s trip to the UK, should relieve some of the pressure on the Mexican authorities.”

Note to Editors:

Dr Ben Smith is available for broadcast interviews from our on-campus studio. Contact Lee Page, Communications Manager, Press and Policy Office, The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255, Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email: