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  HOME | Mexico

Mexican President Says Drug Lord Marro’s Arrest Is ‘Very Important’

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Sunday’s arrest of the leader of the powerful Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz “El Marro,” is a “very important fact,” adding that his government will not protect any organized crime group.

“The Ministry of National Defense, with the support of the state government, achieved this arrest, which is important, very important,” the president said in a video message in the National Palace of Mexico broadcast through social networks.

Lopez Obrador, of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), said he was informed at about 6:00 am (1100 GMT) about the arrest of El Marro, who made Guanajuato “the most violent state in the country,” he said.

The president said this central region of the country is home to 15 percent of the murders and blamed this level of violence on “the complicities and compromises with municipal and state authorities” of organized crime.

“The thing about deceiving oneself by persecuting one gang and protecting another is over, the law must be applied equally,” claimed the president, who linked the growth of cartels to the corruption of previous administrations.

He recalled that former Secretary of Public Security Genaro Garcia Luna, who served under Felipe Calderon’s presidency (2006-2012), has been in prison in the United States since December for allegedly doing business with the Sinaloa Cartel.

This same week, a federal court in New York also charged two exalted public security officials in the country, Luis Cardenas Palomino and Ramon Pequeño Garcia, who worked with Garcia Luna.

Lopez Obrador stressed that both “were awarded by the Calderon government as the two best police officers in Mexico.”

“It was simulated that drug trafficking was being fought, but only against those who had no agreement with the government and many atrocities were committed,” said Lopez Obrador.

El Marro was arrested Sunday morning with eight collaborators in two homes in the municipality of Santa Cruz de Juventino Rosas (Guanajuato) in a joint operation by federal and state forces in which a woman they had kidnapped was released.

The Lopez Obrador government had been looking for El Marro for more than a year for his network of extortion, kidnapping, drug trafficking and, above all, theft of gasoline from the Pemex pipelines that cross the center of the country.

In late June, El Marro released a video and promised revenge against the government for the arrest of about 30 members of his organization, including his mother.

Shortly thereafter, the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel launched an attack on an Irapuato rehabilitation center in Guanajuato, where they killed 27 patients.

Sunday’s arrest of El Marro poses the question of whether it will be possible to stop violence in the state of Guanajuato.

The Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel has maintained a bloody war with the Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel for control of the territory since 2018.

As a result of this dispute, Guanajuato became the state with the most murders in Mexico, with 2,293 crimes in the first half of this year.


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