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Mexico will try Santa Rosa leader for fuel theft

A Mexican court ordered that the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima cartel be held for trial on organized crime charges.

José Antonio Yépez Ortiz will be imprisoned for at least two months in a maximum security prison west of Mexico City, until new hearings are held.

The Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday that Yépez Ortiz participated in a criminal organization that stole fuel from government oil pipelines or refineries.

Yépez Ortiz, better known as “El Marro”, was arrested in early August after years in which his gang spread violence in the state of Guanajuato, in the north-central state of the country, and waged a long and bloody territorial war with the Jalisco Nueva Generación cartel.

“El Marro” was a peculiar leader because he published videos with emotional calls to his supporters, including one in June in which he apparently comes out crying after the arrest of several of his followers and relatives. In another recording from around the same time, he threatened to join forces with the Sinaloa cartel to defeat Jalisco Nueva Generación, the fastest growing drug trafficking group in Mexico.