According to state prosecutors, a Mexican cartel commander who became one of the country’s most wanted criminals after his gang stole petroleum on a large scale has been sentenced to 60 years in jail.
The news: In what was a big coup for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Jose Antonio Yepez, a notorious gasoline thief responsible for igniting a severe spike in violence in the central state of Guanajuato, was captured in 2020.
- Yepez, also known as “El Marro” (The Mallet), was the commander of the Guanajuato-based Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, which fought the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), one of Mexico’s most powerful and dangerous gangs, in a bloody territorial war in the state.
- A regional court “found him and his co-authors guilty of the crime of kidnapping,” the Guanajuato attorney general’s office announced in a Twitter post.
- Yepez was the most high-profile narco captured so far under Lopez Obrador, who had promised to lower record levels of violence as well as massive theft of petroleum from Pemex’s pipelines.
In Guanajuato, the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel was involved in a variety of criminal operations, including drug trafficking and kidnapping. In a state crisscrossed by pipelines and home to a big refinery, fuel theft was a common source of income.