August 14, 2020 – Mexican drug lord Jose (El Marro) Yepez was finally captured by the Federales last week, as his main rival, Nemesio (El Mencho) Oseguera remains on the run. El Marro means “The Sledgehammer” in Spanish.

The 40-year old Yepez leads the upstart Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel. El Mencho, 54, heads the more-dominant Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Over the past few years, the two organizations have been at war over narcotics-trafficking turf in the working-class region of Guanajuato, a collection of factory and farming towns in Central Mexico. El Mencho has been a fugitive of justice for close to a decade and has the United States Government offering a $10,000,000 reward for any information that brings him into custody.

El Marro is a brute with ambition, according to DEA reports. He started in the rackets in North Central Mexico stealing fuel from state pipelines and robbing freight trains, which quickly turned to shaking down small-time dope dealers and thieves and kidnapping-for-ransom plots.

Transitioning to a drug-distribution model, Yepez founded the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel in the late 2000s, subsequently sending Guanajuato reeling with violence, gunning for its own piece of the pie in the local narcotics trade. Homicide numbers have tripled in the the region in the years since El Marro’s came to power. While on the run, Yepez frequently posted videos on social media, consisting of emotional pleas to law enforcement to stop arresting members of his family and condemnations of politicians.

El Mencho’s two children were arrested by U.S. authorities earlier this year and are awaiting trial on drug and money laundering charges. El Mencho himself rose through the ranks of the underworld in California before moving to Mexico and joining the Milenio Cartel and aligning with the legendary “El Chapo,” in cultivating distribution routes through Guadalajara.

When the Milenio Cartel imploded, El Mencho formed the “CJNG.” Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman, the biggest drug lord on the planet, is serving life in prison in the United States after his 2016 capture.

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