Mexican cartel leader, Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz, arrested.

Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz, better known as “El Marro” (The Sledgehammer), leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel, has been arrested by Mexican security forces in the state of Guanajuato.

Formed in 2014, the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel wrought havoc and spread violence throughout the north-central parts of Mexico as they fought a turf war alongside their usual criminal activities.

Five other people were arrested with Yepez, and a local woman who had been kidnapped was rescued during the raid. A large cache of weapons was also seized.

According to authorities, Yepez will be held at Altiplano prison, a maximum-security facility with not the best reputation. It was there that “El Chapo” Guzman was held before he escaped through a tunnel in 2015.

Although Mexican President Lopez Obrador pledged in 2018 to tame the violence that has plagued the country for years, it has only increased to record levels during his presidency. The arrest of Yepez is being viewed as a major success for Obrador.

Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz, better known as “El Marro” (The Sledgehammer)

Jose Antonio Yepez Ortiz, better known as “El Marro” (The Sledgehammer)

The Santa Rosa de Lima cartel was deeply involved in a power struggle and turf war with the notoriously violent and powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

This war between the two rival cartels turned the state into the most violent in Mexico. This definitely got the authority’s attention since Guanajuato was were many foreign auto companies had built manufacturing facilities.

One of Mexico’s most wanted, Yepez built his wealth by selling oil on the black market by going around the country drilling into pipelines and stealing the oil. They were also known for robbing trains.

In June, Yepez’s mother and sister were arrested along with 30 other cartel members. Yepez released a defiant and emotional video of himself, obviously upset by his family member’s arrests and vowing to be strong and fight on. You can watch the video below.

His mother and sister were freed a few days later though they both allege that they had been beaten and tortured.