The top leader of one of Mexico’s most violent criminal organizations appears to cry in a video he shared on social media. The cartel leader expressed outrage at a series of police operations aimed at his capture. During the raids, police forces arrested some of his relatives — including a woman believed to be his mother.
In an expletive-filled video, Jose Antonio “El Marro” Yepez Ortiz, the leader of Mexico’s Cartel Santa Rosa de Lima, said he thanked his followers who kept risking it all and he was thankful for their support as he fought “those people.” At the end of the video, El Marro claimed he would keep fighting as his voice broke and he appeared to cry.
El “CJNG” levanta a familiares de “El Marró” y envía mensaje para el pueblo. No se detendrá aunque se quede solo o sea abatido. #Celaya #Guanajuato #reynosafollow #MexicoRojo #CDMX #Narcos pic.twitter.com/z43pwjSuPP
— Blog de México Rojo (@MexicoRojo1) June 21, 2020
The video surfaced on social media just hours after Guanajuato state police and military forces carried out a series of raids targeting El Marro and his closest allies. It remains unclear if the videos were recorded after one of the previous operations targeting El Marro or if they were recorded on Friday. Law enforcement sources consulted by Breitbart Texas revealed the raids were part of an operation aimed at capturing El Marro. The cartel boss managed to escape.
Authorities arrested several of El Marro’s close associates including a woman believed to be his mother. In a series of subsequent videos, El Marro claimed that authorities had taken his mother and he vowed revenge. The cartel boss claimed he may seek out help from other cartels near the border or from the Sinaloa Cartel but that he would not back down.
Guanajuato’s Public Security Secretary Alvar Cabeza de Vaca claimed that authorities arrested more than two dozen individuals tied to Cartel Santa Rosa de Lima and seized several weapons. He did not specify if they captured El Marro’s mother.
Derivado de la intervención realizada en coordinación entre autoridades estatales y federales @SeguridadGto, @FGEGUANAJUATO y @SEDENAmx en varias comunidades rurales de Celaya, se logran importantes detenciones de presuntos integrantes del CSRL. pic.twitter.com/fqbtwbeEas
— Alvar Cabeza de Vaca (@AlvarCdeV) June 21, 2020
In response to the raids, El Marro’s gunmen set fire to dozens of businesses and vehicles in the municipalities of Celaya, Salamanca, Cortazar, and Juvention Rosas. This terroristic tactic has been used by other cartels in the past to slow down and distract authorities while leaders escape.
Unlike other criminal organizations, CRSL is primarily involved in the large scale theft of fuel rather than drug trafficking. However, the criminal organization has made a name as one of Mexico’s most violent organizations and has been linked to the regular use of explosives in their attacks.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“J.C. Sanchez” from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report