29 killed in arrest of “El Chapo” drug dealer’s son

The arrest of Ovidio Guzman, accused of leading a faction linked to the Sinaloa cartel, sparked a violent reaction. Multiple shootings have caused chaos in Culiacan, in northwestern Mexico.

The violent arrest on Thursday, January 5 in Culiacan, in northwestern Mexico, of one of the sons of notorious drug dealer Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman killed 29 people during a shootout across several points of the city and into the airport where three planes were hit, causing panic.

Ten soldiers (…) unfortunately lost their lives in the line of duty“, Minister of Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval announced on Friday, adding that there is also “19 deadamong suspected criminals. Another 35 soldiers were injured by bullets while 21 people were arrested during this operation which resulted in no casualties among the population, according to the authorities. A senior military officer was among the victims, said Luis Cresencio Sandoval, adding that his patrol had been attacked following the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, alias “El Raton” (“the Rat”).

The arrest of the suspected drug dealer, accused of leading a faction linked to the Sinaloa Cartel founded four decades ago by his father, sparked a violent response with burning vehicles and shootings at various points in the city as well as the international airport. An aircraft and two Mexican Air Force aircraft were hit by projectiles moments before take-off, during which an attack was launched to try to free “El Raton”.

Firefighters extinguish the wreckage of a vehicle, in Culiàcan. STRINGERS / REUTERS

Emergency landing

Official devicehad to make an emergency landing, despite the fact that they received a significant impact“, explained the Minister of Defense. None of these incidents resulted in injury. Footage circulating on social media shows passengers cowering to avoid bullets, and airport workers hiding behind their counters.

Ovidio Guzman was transferred by Air Force plane to Mexico City, where he was heard by prosecution. Footage released by local media shows him, bearded and wearing an orange vest, boarding a helicopter bound for El Altiplano prison, where his father escaped in 2015.

His arrest came three days before US President Joe Biden’s arrival in Mexico. Washington offered five million dollars to capture “Chapo’s” son, who was imprisoned for life in the United States. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard denied that the arrests were a signal from his government against Washington and ruled out any extradition.fastfrom “ElRaton”.

Mexican National Guard soldiers during an operation to capture Ovidio Guzman. MARCOS VIZCARRA/AFP

Ovidio Guzman is the most high-profile member of the “Los Chapitos” clan, which also includes his three brothers Joaquin, Ivan Archivaldo and Jesus Alfredo, who are also involved in drug trafficking, according to Mexican authorities. “El Raton” is wanted by US authorities for trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States.

Secret laboratory

According to American authorities, he owned several clandestine laboratories that produced between 1360 and 2200 kilograms of methamphetamine per month. The Sinaloa cartel is considered by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as the main perpetrator of the trade in fentanyl, a drug 50 times more potent than heroin, which has caused many overdose deaths in the United States. “Other information indicates that Ovidio ordered the killing of informants, drug dealers, and a popular singer who refused to sing at his wedding.“, added the report.

In October 2019, “El Raton” was arrested briefly, then released on orders from President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador following a violent uprising in Culiacán following his arrest. The president has justified this criticized decision, arguing that bloodshed has been avoided. After 15 years of trying unsuccessfully to defeat powerful cartels with armed forces, the United States and Mexico have shifted their counter-narcotics cooperation in 2021 to further address poverty, at the root of the drug trade. .

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