Mexican security forces have arrested the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima gang who spread violence through north-central Mexico and fought a years-long turf battle with another powerful criminal cartel.
Officials in the state of Guanajuato said Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz, better known by his nickname “El Marro”, which means “The Sledgehammer”, was captured on Sunday along with five other people.
Security forces rescued a kidnapped local businesswoman during the operation and also secured an “arsenal” of weapons, the Guanajuato attorney general’s office said.
Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said Yepez would be taken to the Altiplano penitentiary, a maximum-security prison where drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was housed before he escaped through a tunnel in 2015. Guzman was recaptured in 2016.
Yepez’s arrest is considered a major coup for Mexican President Lopez Obrador, who pledged during his 2018 campaign to bring down record levels of violence plaguing the country.