Two Navy members stationed in Puerto Vallarta kidnapped by cartel

Two members of the Mexican Navy personnel based in Puerto Vallarta have been kidnapped by Laisha Oseguera, daughter of one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the country, Nemesio Oseguera, alias El Mencho, as confirmed by the Secretariat of the Military.

The kidnapping occurred a few hours after an Army operation in the city of Zapopan, on the outskirts of Guadalajara (Jalisco) to arrest El Mencho’s wife, Rosalinda González Valencia, and mother of Laisha Oseguera.

Authorities have located the truck in which the naval personnel was traveling, but their whereabouts remain a mystery.

The kidnapped men are a driver and administrative worker with the Navy who were in the parking lot of a Walmart in the municipality of Zapopan waiting for a Navy Captain. Through security camera videos and other intelligence data, it was discovered that Christian Gutiérrez, Laisha Oseguera’s partner, was also in the area at the time of the kidnapping.

Gutiérrez’s presence in the place where they were last seen connects the kidnapping directly with the only free daughter from the marriage between El Mencho and Rosalinda González. After the capture of Rubén Oseguera, El Manchito, in 2015 and his extradition to the United States in 2020, in addition to the arrest in Washington of his sister, Jessica Johanna Oseguera in that same year, the only blood heir to the criminal empire of the Jalisco cartel is Laisha Oseguera. And it is she who the Navy accuses of ordering the kidnapping of its personnel, hours after her mother was arrested.

Rosalinda González Valencia was arrested shortly before the kidnapping at the Walmart by Army personnel, in an operation in which the Navy did not participate, according to official information. The reason for executing the arrest warrant against her was that she had broken the protocol for her parole: she had repeatedly missed her appointments to sign in the prison. A judge ordered preventive detention on Wednesday. In addition, she has been facing charges since 2018 for organized crime and money laundering.

Given the possible reprisals that the powerful Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel could take after the capture of the wife of its leader and alleged head of the group’s financial arm, the municipality of Zapopan woke up on Tuesday surrounded by the military. Armored trucks and dozens of soldiers patrolling one of the most exclusive areas, the residence of the most powerful in Guadalajara.

The kidnapping of two members of the Navy personnel once again shows the power of drug trafficking in Mexico. Like a state within a state. With the ability to threaten and intimidate one of the country’s best-valued institutions, which for years has been in charge of fighting organized crime and the capture of its leaders. The silence of the Secretary of Defense and of the president himself, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in the face of the latest affront of the narco to a public institution is also a reflection of the success of the terror strategy to which drug trafficking has subjected the country for decades.

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