MEXICO CITY, Jan 14 (Reuters) – A Mexican cartel leader who became one of the most wanted criminals due to industrial-scale fuel theft has been sentenced to 60 years in prison, the central prosecutor’s office said on Friday. Guanajuato state.
José Antonio Yépez, who is credited with fueling a sharp rise in violence in Guanajuato, was arrested in 2020 in a major coup by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador against organized crime.
Known as “El Marro,” Yépez was the head of the state-based Santa Rosa de Lima cartel, which was waging a bloody turf war with the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), one of the most powerful and violent gangs in Mexico. Mexico.
The Guanajuato attorney general’s office said on its Twitter account that a local court “found him and his co-perpetrators guilty of the crime of kidnapping.”
Yépez has been the highest-profile narco arrested so far under the government of López Obrador, who had promised to reduce record levels of violence and also the rampant theft of fuel from state oil giant Pemex after coming to power in late 2018.
The Santa Rosa de Lima cartel engaged in a range of criminal activities in Guanajuato, from drug smuggling to kidnapping. Fuel theft was often an easy source of money in a state crisscrossed by pipelines and home to a major Pemex refinery.
(Reporting by Drazen Jorgic, translated by Adriana Barrera)