Crime and violence in Guanajuato are on the rise despite El Marro’s arrest

A security expert said there are three ongoing turf wars in the state 

Crime and violence in Guanajuato are on the rise despite El Marro’s arrest
Federal and state authorities arrested "El Marro” in Guanajuato last Sunday - Photo: Mario Armas/Xinhua
English 09/08/2020 15:51 Newsroom Guanajuato Carlos Arrieta, Diana Lastiri, Manuel Espino, Alberto Morales Actualizada 16:08
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Although federal and state authorities arrested cartel boss “El Marro” in Guanajuato last week, violence and crime weren’t eradicated. Moreover, the arrest doesn’t mean that the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) dominates the region.

Twenty-four hours after authorities arrested the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, at least 16 people were murdered in Guanajuato.

Criminals left messages emphasizing El Marro’s dominance over the state at some of the crime scenes.

Dr. David Saucedo Torres, a security expert, told EL UNIVERSAL that despite El Marro’s arrest, the war is not over in the state. He said the CJNG, led by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, does not dominate Guanajuato.

Recommended: Video: 'El Marro' boasts about killing three police officers in Guanajuato

According to the security expert, the state is experiencing three turf wars at the same time. On one hand, there is a conflict between the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel in Salamanca, Celaya, Los Apaseos, and Irapuato.

Dr. David Saucedo said there is an ongoing turf war in León. The CJNG is fighting two local gangs: La Unión de León and Cártel Nueva Plaza.

The third turf war is taking place in southern Guanajuato, between the CJNG and Los Viagras.

The security expert explained the war between the CJNG and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel was made visible thanks to the messages and videos they exchanged online.

Regarding the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, Dr. Saucedo said the areas dominated by the local cartel experience more narco-terrorism incidents such as car bombs, blockades, and massacres. The expert explained this cartel attacks civilians, while other cartels only attack their members.

The aftermath

The expert considers that after El Marro’s arrest, there may be an internal conflict to control the criminal organization. Moreover, the CJNG could take advantage of the situation. He added that the Jalisco-based cartel controls 40% of Guanajuato and that it will likely continue with the turf war. 

Recommended: El Marro: fuel theft, extortion, and kidnapping in Guanajuato​​​​​​​

Enforced disappearance

While “El Marro” and the Santa Rosa de Lima Carrel reigned in Guanajuato, enforced disappearances tripled in the last two years. 
 
After authorities arrested José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, the victims’ families hope they will finally learn what happened to their loved ones.

Nevertheless, Guanajuato’s prosecutor's office hasn’t updated its missing people database since 2012. Its human trafficking website is empty. 
 
Human rights activist Raymundo Sandoval Bautista estimates that around 2,100 people have gone missing since 2012. He explains that experts have indicated that the enforced disappearances are perpetrated by the cartels as a way to control and dominate the state.

Raymundo Sandoval said enforced disappearances in Guanajuato have increased in the last three years because cartels have gained more power.

Enforced disappearances are linked to human trafficking, forced prostitution, or forced recruiting into cartels. It is more common in the Laja-Bajío area and the south of the state.

“El Marro”

José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, aka "El Marro,” could be bound over for trial over organized crime and fuel theft charges on August 11.

During a hearing held on August 8, El Marro’s defense asked the federal judge for more time to present evidence in favor of the cartel boss.

Authorities transported Yépez Ortiz to the maximum-security prison known as "El Altiplano" on Friday.

Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said federal authorities transported the criminal to the maximum-security prison to guarantee his safety.

 
The cartel leader also faces kidnapping charges.

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