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Servando Gómez Martínez

  (Redirected from Servando Gomez)

Servando Gómez Martínez (born February 6, 1966),[2] commonly referred to by his alias La Tuta (The Teacher) for once being a teacher, is a Mexican drug lord and former leader of the Knights Templar Cartel, a criminal organization based in the state of Michoacán.[3][4][5] He is a former leader and founder member of La Familia Michoacana drug cartel, the split-off group of the Knights Templar.[6][7] On February 27, 2015, he was arrested by Mexican security forces in Morelia, Michoacán.[8]

Servando Gómez Martínez
Servando Gómez Martínez.jpg
Born (1966-02-06) February 6, 1966 (age 53)
Other namesLa Tuta,[1] El Profe[1]
OccupationLeader of the Knights Templar
Criminal statusArrested
Reward amount
Mexico: $30 Million Mexican Pesos;
USA: $5 million USD


Gómez Martínez served as the operational chief and spokesperson for the now extinct La Familia drug cartel, which sometimes was described as quasi-religious, since its former leader, Nazario Moreno González, referred to their assassinations and beheadings as "divine justice."[9] He cofounded the organization in 2006,[10] and became its leader after Arnold Rueda Medina, aka la Minsa, was arrested.[11] Servando Gómez Martínez' partners in La Familia Cartel were Nazario Moreno González, José de Jesús Méndez Vargas, Enrique Plancarte Solís and Dionicio Loya Plancarte, who each have had a bounty of $2 million for their capture.[12]

In 2009, he called a local TV newscast and called on the government of Felipe Calderón to negotiate with the country' s drug kingpins.[13]

Gómez Martínez has been indicted in the United States with conspiring to import and distribute cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico.[14] According to the Gomez Martinez indictment, he was, among other things, responsible for ensuring that La Familia's drug trafficking activities were not impeded by law enforcement, and also for acquiring weapons for use by the cartel.

The Indictment alleges that, on July 17, 2009, a few days after the bodies of twelve murdered Mexican federal law enforcement officers were discovered following the arrest of a cartel leader, Alberto Espinoza Barron,[15] Gómez Martínez made a recorded statement to a local television station in Michoacan, in which he publicly acknowledged that he was a member of La Familia Cartel, and, among other things, stated that the cartel was in a battle against the Mexican federal police and prosecutors. He also offered the Mexican federal security forces a truce in exchange of freedom to continue their illegal drug trade. President Felipe Calderón's government refused to strike a deal with the cartel and ignored their calls for dialogue.[16][17]

On 25 February 2010, the United States Department of the Treasury sanctioned Gómez Martínez under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (sometimes referred to simply as the "Kingpin Act") for his involvement in drug trafficking along with twenty-one other international criminals and ten foreign entities.[18] The act prohibited U.S. citizens and companies from doing any kind of business activity with him, and virtually froze all his assets in the U.S.[19] During the first trimester of 2010, he was still registered as a teacher in the state of Michoacán, and earned a salary of 50,000 pesos during this period.[20]

In a 2012 video, he explained the "peaceful credentials" of the Knights Templar Cartel and asked the leaders of Mexico's drug trafficking organizations to join forces and put down Miguel Treviño Morales (Z-40), one of the leaders of Los Zetas. He insisted that his organization is a "necessary evil," and insists that his organization is "not a cartel, nor any kind of organized criminal group. [They] are a brotherhood, founded by a set of statutes and codes."[21] He then goes on to explain that the Knights Templar's "only function is to help the people, preserve [the] state ... and keep [Mexico] free of people causing terror ... [and] live in peace." Gómez Martínez then asks other cartels to create a "common front" against Los Zetas and asks Calderón to take on his action.[22][21]

After La Familia leader Nazario Moreno González was falsely claimed to have been shot dead by security forces (he was actually not killed until 2014),[3] Méndez-Vargas took control of La Familia.[4] Soon afterwards, Martínez and Plancarte broke with Méndez-Vargas and formed the Knights Templar Cartel.[3] This splinter group soon developed a rivalry with La Familia.[3] On June 21, 2011, Méndez-Vargas was captured by Mexican security forces.[23] On August 7, 2011, the Mexican Attorney General reported that the La Familia Cartel was disbanded.[24]

In 2014 he gave an interview to Channel4 News in which he explained that he realized that he was a criminal, and that he knew that he would eventually pay for his crimes. But he maintained that he would not give himself up, but rather fight to the death. He also defended his decisions to do business with Chinese smugglers of iron ore whom he claimed had a right to expand their markets.[25]


On February 27, 2015, at 3 am, Servando Gómez Martínez was captured. He was apprehended by an elite squadron of the Mexican Federal Police in Morelia, Michoacán, in an operation where no shots were fired.[26] He was then transferred to the SEIDO installations, Mexico's organized crime investigation agency, in Mexico City for his legal presentation.[27][28] That same night, he was transferred to the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1, a maximum-security prison in Almoloya de Juárez, State of Mexico.[29]

The police was able to spot him in a cave near Morelia after his girlfriend ordered a chocolate cake for his 49th birthday, which raised the suspicion of the authorities looking for him.[30][31] At the time of his arrest, Gómez Martínez was one of Mexico's most-wanted drug lords.[32]

On 11 March, he was officially charged by a federal court in Toluca, State of Mexico for organized crime, kidnapping, and drug trafficking offenses.[33]

During Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's second escape in 2015, Servando Gómez Martínez, also jailed in the maximum-security prison of Almoloya, faked a heart attack to facilitate his escape.[34]

In June 2019, he was sentenced to 55 years in jail for the kidnapping of a businessman in 2011.[35][36]


His brother Luis Felipe Gómez Martinez, aka El Güicho, is in prison since 2001 for drug trafficking.[20] Francisco Javier Sotelo Barrera, aka El Pancho, the presumed leader of La Familia, was identified in 2009 as the nephew of Servando Gómez Martinez.[37]

His son Luis Alfredo Aguilera Esquivel was arrested by Mexican authorities on 3 March 2014 in Los Reyes, Michoacán. According to federal reports, he carried out kidnappings and extorted agricultural workers in Michoacán, the most recent one on orders from his father.[38] His other son Huber Gómez Patiño was arrested by the Mexican Federal Police in Arteaga, Michoacán on 21 June 2014.[39] His brother Aquiles Gómez Martínez was reportedly found dead in Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán with a gunshot wound on 19 September 2014.[40] His cousin José Martínez Mendoza was arrested by the Federal Police in Uruapan, Michoacán on 8 November 2014.[41] His alleged uncle Gerardo Martínez Legorreta was arrested by Michoacán security forces on 8 December 2014 in Arteaga.[42]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "La Tuta" cobra como maestro 8 December 2010. El Universal. Mexico City, Mexico. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  2. ^ SSP difunde foto actual de "La Tuta" El Universal. August 7, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mexico police raid 'La Familia drug cartel', killing 11". BBC News. May 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  4. ^ a b "Prevén arrecie lucha por lugar del 'Chayo' en Michoacán". Reforma (in Spanish). Terra. May 29, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-29.
  5. ^ Heffernan-Tabor, Kelly (May 29, 2011). "Mexican Authorities Arrest 46 Suspected Drug Gang Members". WFMY News 2. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  6. ^ La Familia Cartel: Implications for US Mexican Security, by, Grayson, George W., Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), US Army War College, December, 2010, pg. 24
  7. ^ A Mexican Cartel's Swift and Grisly Climb
  8. ^ Servando La Tuta Gomez Mexicos Most Wanted Drug Lord Captured - NBC News
  9. ^ Gibbs, Stephen (October 22, 2009). "'Family values' of Mexico drug gang". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-10-23.
  10. ^ Mexican police kill most wanted drug cartel boss,, 11 December 2010 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  11. ^ (in Spanish) María de la Luz González, "La Familia" ejecuta a 16 policias federales en 4 días,, 15 July 2009 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  12. ^ "Mexico offers $2 million for top drug lords". El Paso Times. March 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
  13. ^ Alma Guillermoprieto, Killing Arturo Beltrán,, 6 January 2010 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  14. ^ "United States Charges Operational Chief And Associates Of Violent Mexican Drug Cartel" (PDF). US Department of Justice. October 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-28. |first= missing |last= (help)
  15. ^ "Mexico arrests drug leader; military's role in drug war debated". CNN News. December 31, 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-28. |first= missing |last= (help)
  16. ^ Mexican gang leader offers drug war truce
  17. ^ Cartel declares war on Mexican state
  18. ^ "DESIGNATIONS PURSUANT TO THE FOREIGN NARCOTICS KINGPIN DESIGNATION ACT" (PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. 15 May 2014. p. 10. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  19. ^ "An overview of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act" (PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. 2009. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  20. ^ a b (in Spanish) La Tuta tiene plaza de maestro,, 8 December 2010 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  21. ^ a b Fox, Edward (23 August 2012). "Knights Templar Leader Makes Rare Video Appearance". InSight Crime. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  22. ^ "Video: Comunicado de Servando Gómez La Tuta de Los Caballeros Templarios". Blog del Narco (in Spanish). 22 August 2012. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  23. ^ Rene Hernandez; Catherine E. Shoichet (21 June 2011). "Top cartel leader captured". CNN News. Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  24. ^ Vega, Aurora (7 August 2011). "Surgen cuatro grupos del narco en 2011; El Chapo es el capo más poderoso". Excelsior (in Spanish). Retrieved 2011-09-20.
  25. ^ [1]
  26. ^ Alzaga, Ignacio (27 February 2015). "PF captura a "La Tuta"" (in Spanish). Milenio. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  27. ^ "Detienen a 'La Tuta' en Morelia" (in Spanish). Proceso. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  28. ^ "Mexico captures most wanted drug kingpin 'La Tuta'". Al Jazeera. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  29. ^ García, Inés (28 February 2015). "Presentan y trasladan a "La Tuta" al penal de El Altiplano" (in Spanish). Zeta. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  30. ^ Joshua Partlow, How chocolate cake led to Mexican drug kingpin’s arrest, The Tico Times, 4 March 2015 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  31. ^ Andrea Noel, Mexican Drug Lord Lived in a Cave and Was Caught Because His Girlfriend Brought Him Birthday Cake,, 4 March 2015 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  32. ^ "Knights Templar cartel leader 'La Tuta' captured in Mexico". Fox News. The Associated Press. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  33. ^ "Dictan otro auto de formal prisión a 'La Tuta'" (in Spanish). El Informador (Mexico). 11 March 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  34. ^ Janel Saldana, Servando Gómez Martínez 'La Tuta' Helped Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán Escape From Jail, New Source Says [VIDEO],, 14 October 2015 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  35. ^ Former boss of the Caballeros Templarios gets 55 years,, 18 June 2019 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  36. ^ (in Spanish) Francisco Castellanos, Sentencian a 55 años de cárcel a Servando Gómez Martínez “La Tuta”,, 17 June 2019 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  37. ^ (in Spanish) Xóchitl Álvarez, Sobrino de La Tuta, jefe de plaza,, 17 July 2019 (accessed on 18 July 2019)
  38. ^ "Hijo de la Tuta secuestraba y extorsionaba a agricultores". Milenio (in Spanish). Notimex. 6 March 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  39. ^ "Detienen a Huber Gómez Patino" (in Spanish). El Economista. 21 June 2014. Archived from the original on 23 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  40. ^ "Hallan muerto a presunto hermano de 'La Tuta'" (in Spanish). Mexico City: Milenio. 19 September 2014. Archived from the original on 19 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  41. ^ "Detiene PF en Uruapan a primo de La Tuta" (in Spanish). El Universal (Mexico City). 8 November 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  42. ^ "Detienen a presunto tío de 'La Tuta' en Michoacán" (in Spanish). Milenio. 8 December 2014. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 December 2014.

External linksEdit