MEXICO CITY – The top financial manager for the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel has died from natural causes, Mexican authorities said.
Soldiers seized a body believed to be that of Samer Jose Servin from a funeral home in Morelia, capital of the western state of Michoacan, the Agency for Criminal Investigation (AIC) said in a statement.
Examinations confirmed that the dead man was indeed Servin, the AIC said, describing the deceased as the “principal financial operator” of a criminal organization in Michoacan.
While the Mexican government has stopped referring to criminal outfits by name in official statements, media accounts link Servin to the Templarios.
Servin’s family tried to conceal his death, using a false name at the funeral home, according to the AIC.
Servin, who suffered from diabetes and kidney disease, died of heart failure, press reports said.
Four years ago, Mexican authorities offered a reward of 10 million pesos ($760,000) for information leading to the arrest of Servin as the “financial leader and money launderer” of La Familia Michoacana, a precursor of the Templarios cartel.
Mexico’s government deployed soldiers and police in Michoacan on Jan. 13 in an effort to end the wave of drug-related violence in the state almost a year after communities and businesspeople began organizing militias to battle the Templarios.
Federal security forces killed the Templarios cartel’s two top leaders, Nazario Moreno Gonzalez and Enrique Plancarte Solis, in February and March, respectively.