MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican soldiers have captured the wife of the leader of the Jalisco New Generation cartel, authorities said Tuesday.
In a joint statement, the Attorney General’s Office, Defense Department and National Intelligence Center said that Rosalinda “N” was captured Monday in Zapopan, Jalisco. It said she was allegedly involved in the illicit finances of organized crime in Jalisco.
A federal official, commenting about the case on condition of anonymity, said the woman arrested was Rosalinda González Valencia, the wife of Jalisco cartel leader Nemesio “El Mencho” Oseguera.
The government said the arrest was “a significant hit” against the cartel’s financial structure.
González Valencia was previously arrested in May 2018, but later released.
Mike Vigil, former international operations chief for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, called González Valencia a “narco queen,” whose family has long been tied to drug trafficking.
“She has all of the keys, all of the confidence of ‘El Mencho,’ all of the information and was responsible for laundering the cartel’s money,” Vigil said.
He noted that her arrest comes while two of their children are jailed in the United States. Jessica Johanna Oseguera Gonzalez, a dual U.S. and Mexican citizen, was sentenced in June to 2 1/2 years in prison for involvement in businesses laundering money for the cartel.
Her brother, Rubén, known as “El Menchito,” has pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking charges, but remains jailed awaiting trial.
Taking that into account, Vigil suspects their mother could be interested “in negotiating some deal to help her children.”
The Jalisco cartel is arguably Mexico’s most powerful and violent. It made its reputation with brazen attacks on Mexico’s security forces, including an assassination attempt on Mexico City’s police chief last year in the capital, that wounded him and left three people dead. In 2015, cartel gunmen shot down a Mexican military helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.
It has ruthlessly expanded its territory beyond Jalisco, spurring bloodshed in states including Guanajuato and Michoacan, as well as reaching its tentacles into Mexico’s Caribbean beach resorts in Quintana Roo.
The cartel’s main business is trafficking drugs to the United States, especially methamphetamine and fentanyl.