Mexican police and security forces have arrested Jose Antonio Yepez, a well-known drug gang leader believed to be responsible for a surge in violence in the country in recent years, authorities said on Sunday.
Known under the nickname "El Marro", which is the Spanish for sledgehammer, Yepez was captured with five other people, the authorities said, adding that a local businesswoman earlier kidnapped by the gang was rescued during the operation.
🔴 #InformaciónRelevante Fuerzas federales y estatales han logrado la detención de “El Marro” principal líder de un grupo criminal que operaba en la región Laja-Bajío del Estado de Guanajuato. pic.twitter.com/Z4ojU4nyR3— Fiscalía General del Estado de Guanajuato (@FGEGUANAJUATO) August 2, 2020
Yepez has been running the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel, a gang based in Guanajuato, which has been involved in a bloody struggle for control of the drug trade in the state with another gang called the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Members of the Santa Rosa gang have been known to steal fuel from government pipelines and to rob freight trains.
Quiero informarles que esta madrugada en un operativo conjunto entre Fuerzas Estatales y Federales fue detenido el principal líder de un grupo criminal que operaba en la región Laja-Bajío del Estado de Guanajuato. pic.twitter.com/V1HmCQXPrh— Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo (@diegosinhue) August 2, 2020
"El Marro" was known as quite an unusual gang leader because of the emotional videos he posted to address his followers, including one in June which showed him appearing to cry because some of his supporters and relatives had been arrested.