Servando Gómez, La Tuta or El Profe (The Teacher), the alleged leader of the Mexican crime organization known as Los Caballeros Templarios (The Knights Templar), was captured on February 27 in the state of Michoacán.
Some consider Gómez to be the country's most-wanted suspect and blame the Caballeros Templarios for the outbreak of violence that has afflicted Michoacán for several months. (Global Voices has reported on this violence in the past.)
Goméz was apprehended almost a year after the February 22, 2014, capture of the most-wanted man in the world, drug lord Joaquín Guzmán, known as El Chapo. These arrests—along with the detention of union leader Elba Esther Gordillo, La Maestra, who is charged with spending illegally obtained funds—are some of the biggest blows to organized crime to come under Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
One day before La Tuta's capture, journalist Carlos Loret de Mola wrote what proved to be a very inaccurate forecast:
¿Quién es el más buscado de México tras la caída de El Chapo? Algunos podrían pensar que Servando Gómez Martínez La Tuta, líder de la organización criminal de Los Caballeros Templarios. Pero no, esa es quizá la búsqueda más mediática pero no la más relevante. Se sabe por distintas fuentes que La Tuta quedó francamente disminuido, al grado que ya anunció que no mandará más videos… ni siquiera audios con sus comunicados.
Now that El Chapo has fallen, who is the most-wanted man in Mexico? Some may think it is Servando Gómez Martínez, La Tuta, the leader of the criminal organization Los Caballeros Templarios. But it's not. Perhaps it is the most high-profile search, but it is not the most relevant. Several sources are aware that La Tuta has lost significant power, to the point of stating that he would no longer send out videos… not even his announcements have audio.
The “videos” Loret mentions (compromising footage of politicians at illicit meetings, as well as messages to henchmen and the public) were what La Tuta used to leak to the press, when he was more powerful.
Radio program Así Las Cosas reported news of La Tuta‘s capture on Twitter, also confirming what before had only been a rumor: Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam was resigning.
— Así Las Cosas (@asilascosasw) February 27, 2015
La Tuta aprehended. Murillo Karam steps down. Here we go @WRADIOMexico.
Attorney General Murillo Karam had been tangled up in controversy over his role in the investigation regarding the violent events that took place in Ayotzinapa. (Read Global Voices‘ special coverage here.)
Twitter user Madame Déficit seemed to think the wrong people were behind bars, writing that politicians like former Governor Ángel Aguirre, who resigned over the Ayotzinapa case, were still free, while other criminals find themselves in prison.
— Madame Déficit (@Alessia_mx) February 27, 2015
El Chapo and La Tuta have fallen; but political offenders (like Ángel Aguirre and Godoy Toscano, among others) continue to walk free #Impunity.
Twitter user Luis Díaz noted the curious timing of La Tuta‘s capture, which comes just a few months before Mexico's elections.
Bueno lo de #LaTuta no sorprende, es año electoral
— Luis Díaz (@LuisDiazLuna) February 27, 2015
Well, La Tuta's arrest doesn't surprise; it's election year.
Within a few hours, the Mexican authorities made an official announcement confirming the apprehension of this notorious drug lord.