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Mexican Officials Arrest Son Of Infamous Drug Lord ‘El Chapo’

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Mexican Offficials Arrest Son Of Infamous Drug Lord 'El Chapo'

(CTN NEWS) – CULIACAN, Mexico: – A son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was apprehended by Mexican security forces on Thursday (Jan. 5), resulting in a high-profile victory in the war against ruthless gangs just days before US President Joe Biden’s visit.

Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval informed reporters that Ovidio Guzman, also known as “El Raton” (The Mouse), was apprehended in the northwest city of Culiacan and transported to Mexico City on a military aircraft.

Helping to run his father’s operations since “El Chapo” was extradited to the US in 2017, the 32-year-old was found after six months of intelligence work, according to the man who announced the arrest.

Ovidio Guzman was accused of being a major figure in the famed Sinaloa cartel, and the United States had offered a reward of up to $5 million for information that would result in his detention.

An image of Ovidio Guzman released by the Mexican government in October 2019 when he was briefly captured but freed after his cartel waged an all-out war. (Photo: Cepropie/AFP/HO)

After the arrest, gunfire and arson shook Culiacan. The arrest comes as Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gets ready to welcome Vice President Joe Biden next week for a summit of North American leaders, where security is anticipated to be a major topic of discussion.

According to Ruben Rocha, governor of Sinaloa state, the violence resulted in canceling sporting events in Culiacan and at least 18 injuries.

A passenger plane was shot in its fuselage as it was getting ready to take off from Culiacan airport when Guzman’s goons reacted angrily, according to the carrier Aeromexico, but no one was hurt.

For smuggling hundreds of tonnes of cocaine into the country over 25 years, “El Chapo” is currently incarcerated for life in the US.

His cartel is still among the most powerful in Mexico, but Washington accuses it of using the opioid crisis as cover to saturate neighborhoods with fentanyl, a synthetic drug that is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin.

According to the US State Department, Ovidio Guzman and one of his brothers are accused of managing up to a dozen methamphetamine manufacturing facilities in Sinaloa as well as planning to traffic cocaine and marijuana.

Additionally, it claimed that he gave the go-ahead to kill informants, a drug dealer, and a Mexican musician who declined to sing at his wedding.

Burning vehicles are seen crossed in the street during an operation to arrest the son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Ovidio Guzman, in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, Mexico, on January 5, 2023.
Marcos Vizcarra | Afp | Getty Images

‘PRIOR REJECTED ARREST’

Security forces briefly detained Ovidio Guzman in 2019, but as his cartel retaliated by going to war, they were able to liberate him.

On that occasion, several individuals were slain in Culiacan as gunmen unleashed a major machine-gun attack, scattering burning vehicles over the streets.

His release drew harsh criticism for Lopez Obrador, who claimed that it was done to safeguard the lives of the city’s approximately 800,000 citizens.

According to security analyst David Saucedo, Ovidio Guzman’s arrest was “not a result of Biden’s visit, but rather of the pressure that the Americans were placing on the administration” following the aborted arrest in 2019.

Intense gunfire and burning vehicles were seen in Culiacan after the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, a son of jailed drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman (Photo: AFP/Marcos Vizcarra)

Ovidio Guzman is anticipated to face legal processes in Mexico, according to Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who downplayed the likelihood of a fast-track extradition.

Since taking power in 2018, Lopez Obrador has tried to stop the terrible violence wrapping up Mexico.

He advocated for a “hugs, not bullets” approach to addressing the core causes of violent crime by using social initiatives rather than the military to combat poverty and inequality.

The left-wing populist has urged the US to support local economic growth rather than sending armed helicopters and other armaments to combat drug traffickers.

/ GETTY IMAGE

Since the government controversially sent the army to battle drug cartels in 2006, Mexico has recorded more than 340,000 homicides, most of which have been attributed to criminal groups.

A prison in the border city of Ciudad Juarez was stormed by cartel gunmen on Sunday, resulting in the deaths of nearly 20 persons and the escape of 25 prisoners.

Seven individuals were slain the following day during a police attempt to capture the detainees.

In a gunfight with security personnel on Thursday, one of the escapees who was a gang boss was murdered, according to the authorities.

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