On Sunday night, the Mexican government announced the death of Nazario Moreno, an infamous drug lord. This is the second time that Moreno’s death has been announced. He was originally believed to be dead in 2010.
Moreno, leader of the notorious Knights Templar cartel, died in a military standoff on Sunday after rumors that he was alive helped revive an investigation into his whereabouts. Vigilantes fighting against the cartels claimed that he was still alive last year. A vehicle and communication equipment attributed to Moreno were seized on Friday.
A spokesperson for Mexico’s Criminal Investigation Agency said that fingerprint tests helped them determine that the body was “100 percent” Moreno’s and that they would follow up with genetic tests to confirm.
Moreno’s notoriety is often attributed to his near-religious following. He was nicknamed “The Crazy One.” From The New York Times:
Mr. Moreno secured a particular place among drug and organized crime capos for his affinity for Christian-style verse, collected in a “bible” that followers often carried. He often justified grisly violence, including beheadings, as acts of affirmation to his cultish code. He was often called El Chayo, a play on the nickname for Nazario and the Spanish word for rosary.
Moreno’s death is just the latest in recent high-profile achievements by the Mexican government against the drug cartels. Two weeks ago, El Chapo, the subject of a thirteen-year manhunt, was captured.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.