Mexico captures Ovidio Guzmán, son of El Chapo and alleged fentanyl trafficker read full article at


MEXICO CITY — The Mexican army on Thursday captured Ovidio Guzmán, allegedly one of many nation’s prime fentanyl traffickers and son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, simply days earlier than President Biden was anticipated to go to Mexico and press for extra motion to discourage teams which have deluged america with the lethal narcotic.

Ovidio Guzmán’s detention, lengthy sought by Washington, was hailed by Mexican Protection Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval as a “highly effective blow” to drug cartels. However in an indication of the cartels’ energy, the arrest sparked a wave of retaliatory violence all through Sinaloa state, with gunmen throwing up roadblocks, seizing automobiles from terrified residents and firing on planes on the airport in Culiacan, the capital.

The arrest in Culiacan got here three years after a humiliating episode during which the Mexican military detained the youthful Guzmán however then launched him as Sinaloa cartel gunmen seized management of a lot of the town. U.S. officers noticed that concession as a worrying signal that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who took workplace in 2018 pledging to finish the “warfare on medication,” was not prepared to problem highly effective trafficking teams. .

Analysts and former DEA officers stated the Guzmán arrest appeared timed to appease Biden prematurely of the summit — a part of a longtime sample during which the Mexican authorities nabbed main narcos earlier than key bilateral conferences. “I feel it’s completely intentional and performative,” stated John Feeley, a former senior U.S. diplomat in Mexico.

Mexican officers denied that. “An operation like this takes a lot of planning, and we will’t select the dates of one thing like this,” stated Roberto Velasco, a senior Overseas Ministry official, in an interview

Ovidio Guzmán is one in all a number of sons of El Chapo who’ve allegedly assumed distinguished roles within the Sinaloa cartel since their father was extradited to america in 2017. The crime group has lengthy been a serious exporter of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana in america, and has emerged as one of many prime suppliers of fentanyl lately. It’s believed to manage a lot of the drug site visitors throughout the southwest U.S border.

Guzmán was indicted in U.S. federal courtroom in Washington in 2018 on cocaine, meth and marijuana trafficking fees. The State Division had supplied as much as $5 million for data resulting in his arrest.

Mexico has grow to be the principal provider of fentanyl to the U.S., overtaking China, a growth that has alarmed American authorities. U.S. fatalities from drug overdoses topped 107,000 in 2021, the very best ever. Two-thirds of the deaths involved fentanyl.

“Since August of final yr, customs and border patrol have seized greater than 20,000 kilos of lethal fentanyl,” Biden stated in a speech on Thursday. “It’s a killer. It’s a flat killer.”

Biden is scheduled to reach Monday in Mexico for a bilateral assembly with López Obrador, during which the fentanyl disaster is predicted to be an necessary matter. Biden will then maintain a summit with the Mexican and Canadian leaders Tuesday.

It was not instantly clear if U.S. intelligence performed a key position to find Guzmán — because it typically has in different takedowns of alleged kingpins. Sandoval stated the arrest was the end result of a six-month reconnaissance operation.

About 900 military, nationwide guard troops and state police took half within the arrest effort, the outlet Reforma reported. A video circulating on social media reveals a helicopter gunship opening fireplace on a house, the bullets streaking by the darkish predawn sky.

Guzmán was detained after nationwide guard forces stopped an armored convoy in Jesus Maria, a hamlet on the northern fringe of Culiacan, army officers stated. Because the troops checked the autos, they got here underneath fireplace, the officers stated. They managed to establish Guzmán as one of many occupants of the autos.

Moments later, crime teams launched a counter-attack in Culiacan, throwing up roadblocks and fascinating in shootouts with authorities in 19 elements of the town, officers stated. Attackers set automobiles and busses ablaze. Passengers on an Aeromexico flight resulting from go away Culiacan for Mexico Metropolis cowered within the aisles because the plane got here underneath fireplace, in keeping with a video shot by a passenger. Not one of the occupants was wounded, though a bullet lodged within the fuselage.

Eighteen individuals wounded within the firefights had been being handled in Sinaloa hospitals, most of them safety forces, the governor, Rubén Rocha, informed the each day Milenio.

A reporter in Culiacan, Marcos Vizcarra, tweeted at one point that he was trapped in a lodge after gunmen stole his automotive. “Armed males entered the Lodge Two and they’re threatening shoppers, ordering them at hand over their automotive keys,” he tweeted. “There are cries and screams.” He later tweeted he had arrived house safely.

The airports in Culiacan and the coastal seashore city of Mazatlan, 135 miles to the south, introduced Thursday that they had been shutting down resulting from safety considerations. Faculties closed all through Sinaloa, and the governor urged residents to remain at house.

The violence was paying homage to what occurred on Oct. 17, 2019 — “Black Thursday” — when the military and nationwide guard tried to arrest Guzmán the primary time. A whole bunch of Sinaloa cartel gunmen

U.S. legislation enforcement businesses confiscated greater than 45,300 kilos of fentanyl by the primary 11 months of 2022, up from 5,800 kilos in 2018, in keeping with a Washington Publish evaluation of presidency information. In November, U.S. authorities seized 2,900 kilos on the southern border, the very best month-to-month complete ever.

Gabriela Martinez contributed to this report.


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