Mexican drug lord 'El Marro' who posted emotional videos for social media fans captured after years on the run
Mexican authorities revealed on Sunday that cartel leader 'El Marro' had been captured by state and federal security forces. Jose Antonio Yepez, notoriously known as El Marro, was head of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel which terrorized north-central Mexico for years, the Daily Mail reported.
Believed to be around 40, Yepez and the cartel have been held responsible for a sudden spike in gang violence in the central state of Guanajuato. "The Santa Rosa organization has been gripped in a bloody, years-long turf war with rival Jalisco New Generation cartel," according to the paper.
The notable capture of El Marro was announced Sunday morning by the state's attorney general's office. Authorities revealed that Yepez had been the subject of nationwide manhunts for years and was finally apprehended along with five other suspects who were allegedly holding a kidnapped businesswoman hostage. Authorities also recovered an "arsenal" of weapons during the raid. Yepez would soon be transferred to the Altiplano penitentiary, a maximum-security facility where drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman was held before he stunningly escaped through a tunnel in 2015. He was recaptured the following year.
The Santa Rosa de Lima cartel emerged "from a farming hamlet of the same name in north-central Guanajuato state by stealing fuel from government pipelines and refineries and robbing freight from trains," per Daily Mail. Guanajuato, a hub of the carmaking industry in Mexico, was once one of the safer regions in the country. However, homicide tallies have skyrocketed to record levels due to gang violence over the past few years.
Jalisco New Generation, a rival gang, is considered one of Mexico's deadliest cartels. It is led by Mexico's most wanted man, 54-year-old drug kingpin Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, who is nicknamed 'El Mencho'. Cervantes has served time in federal prison after being convicted of smuggling heroin in California. The Los Angeles Times reported how US Drug Enforcement Administration officials blame him and his operatives for perpetrating brutal violence to help establish the cartel's influence in 24 out of Mexico's 32 states. In fact, there is a $10 million reward for information leading to Cervantes' arrest.
It is said that Yepez and his organization, besides the violent turf war with Jalisco, also attempted to garner support from locals by gifting them minor shares from spoils of their robberies. However, the gang resorted to widespread kidnapping and extortion after trains and pipelines became better guarded.
What's more? Yepez has also posted emotional messages and videos to his followers on social media. A video he shared in June showed him appeared to break down after several of his supporters and close relatives, including his mother, were arrested by law enforcement.
The clip shows Yepez fighting back tears and vowing revenge against the government after a kilogram of a substance resembling methamphetamine and 2 million pesos ($88,000) were seized during the raid. "I'm going to be a stone in your shoe. I'm going to blow up, you will see," Yepez says in the clip, with a rifle slung over his shoulder.