Mexican cartel boss says he prefers death to surrender

Mexico City, Oct 29 (IANS/EFE)┬áThe leader of Mexico’s Caballeros Templarios drug cartel has no plans to surrender or seek some kind of deal with authorities, according to an audio tape posted Tuesday on the internet.

A man purporting to be Servando La Tuta Gomez says on the audio recording that authorities are mistaken if they think that recent arrests of people close to him, such as ex-wife Ana Patino Lopez, will convince him to turn himself in.

“I won’t surrender, I am going to fight until the end,” the fugitive kingpin says. “I am convinced that one day I will have to pay, and let it be (with my) death.”

The leader of the Caballeros Templarios or Knights Templar is thought to be hiding out in the mountains of the western state of Michoacan.

The Mexican government deployed large contingents of troops and Federal Police to Michoacan early this year to smash the Templarios and rein in the armed militias that arose in February 2013 to battle the cartel, which terrorised many communities in the state.

With many Templarios bosses killed or captured, Gomez is thought to be the only senior figure in the group who remains at large.

The government has offered a reward of $2.5 million for information leading to his apprehension.

“I repeat: I don’t ask clemency or benevolence for myself. I am a criminal, I acknowledge that I did wrong, I will have to pay,” Gomez says on the recording.

He asked the news media to be objective and told authorities that instead of arresting innocent people, they should concentrate on capturing “those of us who are really criminals.”

In a similar vein, Gomez said that some of the prominent people, including state and municipal politicians and journalists, seen meeting with him in videos were brought to those encounters against their will.

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