Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Armored Truck Seized by Authorities near Celaya, Guanajuato

"Itzli" for Borderland Beat 

Guanajuato state officials from the SSPEG and FGE, as well as the Mexican army and GN seize armored truck among other vehicles and cartel related items in an operation conducted in San Antonio de los Morales.

The Operation

On Tuesday, February 8, 2022 it was announced by the Guanajuato State Secretary of Public Safety (SSPEG) had conducted an operation in a rural area near San Antonio de los Morales, Guanajuato.

During a reconnaissance flight by a SSPEG helicopter, an armored vehicle was spotted and the operation was mobilized by the SSPEG, in conjunction with forces of the Attorney General of the State (FGE), the Mexican army, and National Guard (GN).

The announcement mentioned that an armored Ram pickup truck, a 2020 Kia Seltos (reported stolen January 26, 2022 in Villagrán), a 2016 Toyota Hilux (reported stolen November 3, 2021 in Villagrán), and a 2018 Bajaj motorcycle had been seized.

Additionally, tactical gear, metal spikes, and two carboard messages which appeared to have blood on them were taken by authorities, although the contents of the messages and which cartel they are connected to have not been released.

San Antonio de los Morales

San Antonio de los Morales is a small town of about 1,800 people and belongs to the municipality of Juventino Rosas, although it is actually closer to the city of Celaya, which is a mere four miles to the southeast. 

There is nothing particularly unique about San Antonio de los Morales. Like many small towns in the area, which the bigger cities nearby refer to as "ranches", life is based upon the Catholic Church and neighboring plaza in the center of town. Just big enough to justify a primary and secondary school, most of its residents work in agriculture in the surrounding fields.

It was in San Antonio de los Morales that José Antonio Yepez, alias "El Marro" was born and raised; not in Santa Rosa de Lima as one might suspect based upon his criminal organization being named after that town. His mother continued to live at the home of his birth up until 2019 when she moved due to being constantly bothered by police according to a cousin of El Marro. 

Next door to his childhood home, El Marro constructed a luxurious estate and a shrine to La Virgen de Guadalupe on the street where the two properties meet. 

Apparently El Marro used nearby locations in his criminal activities. During the morning of his arrest on August 2, 2020, authorities searched two properties in San Antonio de los Morales which they referred to as La Lata and La Casa Gris, the later of which Angélica, an alleged operator for El Marro was arrested along with two other females.

Graphics by HEARST.

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