News
Altiplano federal prison, Mexico state All three former cartel leaders are serving sentences in the Altiplano prison in México state.

Ex-drug lords unite against ‘harassment’ in maximum security prison

The three men claim they have undergone 'psychological torture'

The jailed former leaders of three drug cartels have shown their diplomatic side, coming together to make a joint complaint about their prison conditions.

The three men allege harassment and psychological torture by prison staff at the Altiplano maximum-security prison in México state.

The complainants are Servando Gómez Martínez, the former leader of the Knights Templar cartel in Michoacán; Mario Cárdenas Guillén, who led the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas; and Fernando Sánchez Arellano, the former leader of the Tijuana Cartel in Baja California.

The Attorney General’s Office requested that the judge who accepted the lawsuit dismiss the case but the request was turned down.

Servando Gómez Martínez, former leader of the Knights Templar Cartel in Michoacán
Servando Gómez Martínez, former leader of the Knights Templar Cartel in Michoacán.

The three complainants have been provided by a public defense lawyer to argue their case.

The complaint was also signed by a string of other convicted cartel personnel, including former members of the Sinaloa Cartel and the former head of Los Zetas, which previously waged a civil war against the Gulf Cartel.

Cárdenas, recognized by the aliases “M-1” and “El Gordo,” served a first stint in prison from 1995 to 2007 and was released upon finishing his sentence.

He was arrested a second time in 2012 and given 20 years.

Gómez, also known as “La Tuta,” was arrested in 2015 and charged for organized crime, kidnapping, and drug trafficking offenses. In 2019, he was sentenced to 55 years in jail for the kidnapping of a businessman in 2011.

He faked a heart attack to enable Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s second prison escape in 2015.

Mario Cárdenas Guillén, ex-leader of the Gulf Cartel.
Mario Cárdenas Guillén, ex-leader of the Gulf Cartel in Tamaulipas.

Sánchez, also known as “The Engineer,” was arrested in 2014. News website Infobae reported last year that the only standing charge against him was for money laundering.

With reports from Milenio

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.