A major Mexican drug cartel founder has been killed, with his severely tortured body dumped on the side of the road.
Carlos Rosales Mendoza, one of the founders of La Familia Michoacana, was one of four bodies found on a highway in Morelia early Monday.
The bodies of all four men were riddled with bullets, and authorities have yet to identify the other three who were found alongside Rosales Mendoza.
The 53-year-old, better known as ‘El Tísico” and ‘El Carlitos,’ had been on the DEA Most Wanted List for federal drug violations and had just been released from a Mexican prison in May 2014 after serving a decade behind bars on organized crime charges.
Mendoza got his start as part of La Familia in the 1980s according to the BBC and quickly moved up the ranks thanks in part to his ability to form key alliances with members of other cartels.
He founded La Familia Michoacana in 2000, which led to a wave of violence and assassinations as his cartel attempted to displace a rival from the Michoacán state.
Members of La Familia Michoacana believed that they had a divine right to kill, and that their work was helping the poor while also defending traditional values.
Rosales Mendoza was arrested in 2004 after he organized a massive armed raid on a maximum security prison in order to free an ally.
He was released last May, and was said to be in the process of trying to reactivate another cartel.
It is also Rosales Mendoza who is believed to have trained Servando Gómez Martínez, better known as ‘La Tuta.’
Rosales Mendoza was Mexico’s most-wanted drug lord before he was arrested last February while hiding out on a farm.
He had been running La Familia Michoacana at the time, which controlled some 50 methamphetamine labs across Mexico while also making millions from a variety of illegal activities, among them extortion and kidnapping.
The United States charged Gomez Martinez under the Kingpin Act in 2010, making it illegal for any Americans or American companies to do business with him, and freezing all his assets in this country.
Martinez is now being held in a maximum security prison. He had long said that he would rather be killed than put behind bars.