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El Chapo’s Son’s Arrest Leads to 29 Deaths

Ovidio Guzman Lopez

The Mexican government reported that a large-scale operation to apprehend a son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman resulted in the deaths of ten troops and 19 criminal suspects. A violent shootout destroyed three planes and caused panic at a nearby airport.

Since his father’s operations were allegedly taken over by Ovidio Guzman, also known as “El Raton” (The Mouse), when the former head of the Sinaloa cartel was deported to the US in 2017, in 2018.

Following six months of intelligence operations to find him, the 32-year-old was apprehended Thursday in the northwest city of Culiacan and taken to Mexico City on a military plane, according to the authorities.

Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval told reporters that ten military personnel “sadly lost their lives while performing their duties” and that 19 “lawbreakers” were also slain during the operation.

Among the dead was a colonel who oversaw an army battalion. After the arrest was made, his crew came under attack, according to the minister.

While 21 gunmen were detained, another 35 troops who had bullet wounds were transported to the hospital.

According to Sandoval, as the Sinaloa Cartel began a ferocious effort to free their captive boss, two Mexican Air Force aircraft as well as a passenger plane that was due to take departure from Culiacan airport were hit.

According to Sandoval, the air force aircraft “had to make an emergency landing” after suffering “a substantial number of collisions.”

No one was hurt as a result of the plane attacks.

A reward of up to $5 million had been offered by the US for information that would result in Ovidio Guzman‘s capture. It charges him with being a crucial member of the notorious Sinaloa cartel.

After the arrest on Thursday, gunfire and arson shook Culiacan as Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador prepared to welcome his American colleague Joe Biden next week for a summit of North American leaders where security is anticipated to be a top priority.

Citywide school operations were suspended.

Violent Reaction

social media video On Thursday, footage from Culiacan airport showed travelers and Aeromexico staff hiding behind counters as gunshots erupted.

At multiple intersections in the city, cartel gunmen burned cars and trucks on fire, and authorities reported 19 roadblocks.

For bringing in hundreds of tons of cocaine over a 25-year period, El Chapo is currently receiving a life sentence 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 in 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.

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

His release drew harsh criticism for Lopez Obrador, who said the choice was necessary to safeguard the lives of citizens in the 800,000-person city.

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

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

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