MEXICO CITY — The Mexican Army and state security forces on Sunday captured Jose Antonio Yepez, a notorious drug gang leader blamed for helping fuel a surge in violence that has severely tested the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Widely known as “El Marro” (The Mallet), Yepez was captured early on Sunday morning, according to the federal government and authorities in the central state of Guanajuato, a principal flashpoint of gang violence.
Yepez, boss of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel, a Guanajuato-based gang, has been engaged in a bloody struggle for criminal control of the state with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), one of the country’s most powerful and violent groups.
The capture should deliver a boost to Lopez Obrador, who pledged to bring down record levels of violence plaguing the country when he took office in December 2018. Instead, homicides have further increased during his presidency.