Gang blocks roads, burns cars after Mexico catches alleged boss’ relatives


MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican security officials said Sunday they have arrested the mother and sister of an alleged crime gang boss along with 24 other people, prompting a wave of violence in the central state of Guanajuato.

The army said an operation involving both state and federal officials captured the two family members of José Antonio Yépez Ortiz, known as “El Marro,” alleged leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, on Saturday.

Enraged members of the gang blocked highways and set cars and trucks ablaze along roads in the state and Yépez Ortiíz threatened further disturbances in a video distributed to local news media.

“They humiliated and did what they want with the family and I am going to be a stone in their shoe,” he said.

The gang began by robbing trains and expanded into stealing gasoline from government pipelines, and has branched out into extortion rackets, often clashing with a growing drug gang, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel as far afield as Cancun on the Caribbean coast.

Analysts say the confrontation is a key reason for a soaring number of homicides in Guanajuato, once one of Mexico’s safer states and home to numerous foreign-owned manufacturing plants.

Meanwhile, authorities in the northwestern state of Sonora said a series of clashes in the municipality of Caborca left at least 12 men dead. Officials said they were found with their hands bound and they had been shot.

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