They arrest the son of ‘Chapo’ Guzmán in a spectacular operation

They arrest the son of 'Chapo' Guzmán in a spectacular operation

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Mexican authorities arrested Ovidio Guzmán, son of drug trafficker Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán, currently in jail on Thursday. The operation in the city of Culiacán (northwest) unleashed intense shootings and burning of vehicles throughout the state.

Ovidio Guzmán, 32 years old, is one of the sons of the well-known Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán and was accused of leading “the Los Menores fraction”, related to the Pacific Cartel (or Sinaloa Cartel).

The arrest occurred in the city of Culiacán, three days before the arrival in Mexico of US President Joe Biden, whose country offered five million dollars for the capture of Ovidio Guzmán, alias “El Ratón”, who was transferred to Ciudad from Mexico on an Air Force plane. The cartel’s response was not long in coming: the capture triggered strong acts of violence, blockades, and shootings in different parts of the state, with a balance of one National Guard agent dead and 28 injured. Two airports suspended their activity and numerous flights were cancelled.

The local media broadcast the images of Guzmán, with a beard and an orange vest, boarding a helicopter that would be transferred to the prison of El Altiplano (State of Mexico), where his father staged a spectacular escape in 2015.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard ruled out an “express” extradition and denied that the capture was a government maneuver to ingratiate himself with Biden, who will meet on Monday with his counterpart Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico City, ahead of the summit of North American leaders to be held on Tuesday.

Guzmán “has an open process in Mexico that is what gives rise to the (capture) order. So, I would assume that what we are going to see is a process in Mexico in accordance with the law,” Ebrard told the press, clarifying that the extradition process will continue.

The United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) considers the Sinaloa Cartel as the main person responsible for trafficking fentanyl, a drug 50 times more powerful than heroin and which has caused numerous overdose deaths in that country.

The governments of Biden and López Obrador turned their anti-drug cooperation in 2021 to focus on attacking poverty as the cause of drug trafficking, after 15 years of a military strategy that failed to subdue the powerful cartels.

According to the Mexican authorities, some 340,000 people have been killed since 2006, when the operation was deployed.

Guzmán had already been arrested on October 17, 2019 in Culiacán, but was released by order of López Obrador in the middle of a riot by the criminal organization.

The leftist president then defended his decision, stating that a bloodbath was avoided, when military contingents were surrounded by civilians with long weapons.

with AFP

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Written by Editor TLN

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