Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Security forces apprehend Santa Rosa cartel founder

The founder of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel, a Guanajuato-based fuel theft and drug gang, was arrested on Tuesday in San Luis Potosí, the Defense Ministry (Sedena) said.

Noé Israel Lara Belman, known as “El Puma,” was detained in a joint operation by the army, the National Guard and the federal Attorney General’s Office.

The Defense Ministry said that a warrant had been issued for Lara’s arrest on charges of fuel theft and organized crime. He is considered one of the main generators of violence in Guanajuato, Sedena said.

The arrest of El Puma followed the capture of his two brothers, Fabián Lara Belman and Luis Ángel Lara Belman, earlier this year.

All three brothers were once close to José Antonio “El Marro” Yépez, the leader of the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel and one of Mexico’s most wanted men.

However, El Puma is believed to have had a falling out with Yépez at the end of last year and as a result decided to leave Guanajuato.

His arrest came just three days after El Marro’s mother, sister and cousin were arrested in Celaya, Guanajuato. The three women were allegedly responsible for paying wages to cartel members and associates.

Yépez made an appearance in a video posted to social media after their arrest in which he raised the possibility of entering into an alliance with other criminal groups, presumably because so many of his own operatives have been detained.

Federal and Guanajuato authorities launched an operation to capture El Marro more than a year ago but the criminal leader has evaded arrest even as the walls appear to be closing in on him.

Source: Reforma (sp) 

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