The brother of one of Mexico's most wanted and elusive drug lords has been captured in the western state of Jalisco without a shot being fired, Mexican authorities announced Friday.
Enrique Galindo Ceballos, general commissioner of Mexico's federal police, told reporters that suspect Antonio Oseguera Cervantes, 57, was caught Thursday afternoon in a joint operation between Mexico's army and federal police in Tlajomulco, southwest of the state capital of Guadalajara.
Oseguera Cervantes is identified as the brother of the leader of the Jalisco New Generation cartel, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho." The cartel leader remains at large and has been the subject of a months-long manhunt since suspected Jalisco New Generation gunmen downed a Mexican military helicopter in May.
"The fight against this criminal group is going in the right direction," Galindo Ceballos said, adding that El Mencho's brother is "an important financial operator" in the cartel, who "worked directly below his brother." He offered no further details.
Oseguera was arrested while traveling in a vehicle without a shot being fired.
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or CJNG as it is known in Spanish, is considered a fast-growing and fearsome drug organization in Mexico, known for its methamphetamine production. The group first appeared around 2009 or 2010 and quickly extended its reach to several states in western Mexico.
Mexican authorities believe there is some sort of alliance between CJNG and the larger and more powerful Sinaloa Cartel, with early investigations showing that New Generation operatives contributed funds to defend people facing charges related to the July escape of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán from a Mexican prison.
After the downing of a military helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade during a chaotic day of shootouts and "narco-blockades" on May 1, 2015, Mexico's government declared an all-out war against the Jalisco cartel.
Later that month, an alleged Jalisco New Generation ranch was "invaded" by the Mexican Army and federal forces, leaving 43 people dead — 42 alleged cartel suspects and one federal agent — in a lopsided toll that immediately sparked allegations of extrajudicial killings.
Mexican human-rights groups are still investigating the ranch incident.
Several other key CJNG operatives have been arrested since May, including El Mencho's US-born son, Ruben Oseguera González, who was nabbed in June, and the cartel's alleged second-in-command, Iván Cazarín Molina, on November 18.
Follow Nathaniel Janowitz on Twitter: @ngjanowitz