PanamaTimes

Monday, May 20, 2024

Sinaloa cartel launches violent response as Mexico recaptures El Chapo’s son

Ovidio Guzmán’s arrest on Thursday prompted heavy fighting from cartel gunmen in the city of Culiacán
Mexican authorities have captured Ovidio Guzmán, a son of incarcerated drugs kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, prompting a wave of retaliatory attacks from cartel gunmen in the northern city of Culiacán.

After a night of violence, gunmen exchanged fire with security forces, blocking roads with burning vehicles and shooting at army helicopters and police aeroplanes bringing reinforcements to the city.

According to one resident, heavy fighting raged for hours after Guzmán – a key figure in the Sinaloa cartel since the arrest of his father – was arrested in the city early on Thursday.

“They caught him at about 4am, and since then the shooting hasn’t stopped. It’s been a real mess – they’re shooting up in the air trying to bring down the [police] helicopters. The whole town is a mess,” the resident said.

Cartel members also reportedly seized a Red Cross ambulance, took medical personnel from hospitals to attend their wounded comrades, threatened reporters and seized press vehicles.

All major roads into the city were blocked with burning vehicles, and gunmen attacked a military air base and Culiacán international airport, where a passenger jet was hit by a bullet as it was preparing to take off, according to the airline Aeromexico.

The Sinaloa state government said three members of the security forces had been killed in the clashes.

“We continue to work on controlling the situation,” said Cristobal Castaneda, Sinaloa’s public security chief.

The defense secretary, Luís Cresencio Sandoval, told reporters that Guzmán had been transferred to the Mexican capital after his capture by members of the army and national guard. He described the arrest as a “decisive blow against the Pacific cartel”, using another name for the powerful crime faction.

The exact circumstances of the arrest were unclear: Sandoval said it followed six months of surveillance, but also appeared to suggest there was an element of chance involved. “When the armed forces set up a roadblock to stop several vehicles with improvised armour, [cartel] gunmen opened fire. Security forces recognized Ovidio Guzmán, who they managed to detain,” he said.

Guzmán, 32, was previously detained briefly in Culiacán in 2019, but quickly released after a violent response from the gang in an episode which became a major embarrassment for the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

His recapture comes just days before a North American leaders’ summit in Mexico City next week, which Joe Biden will attend and at which security issues are on the agenda.

The United States had offered a $5m reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Guzmán.

A surge in overdose deaths in the United States, fueled by the synthetic opioid fentanyl, has led to increased pressure on Mexico to combat the organizations – such as the Sinaloa cartel – responsible for producing and shipping the drug.

For Tomás Guevara, a security expert at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, Guzmán’s arrest helps save face for Mexican law enforcement following the humiliation of having to let El Chapo’s son go in 2019.

“The detention of Ovidio is finally the culmination of something that was planned three years ago,” he said.

It might also herald a change in approach by the government, Guevara added, after criticism from many security experts that López Obrador had gone soft on the cartels, an accusation he denies.

The president argues the confrontational tactics of his predecessors were unsuccessful and only caused more bloodshed, saying he would instead pursue a strategy of “hugs not bullets”.

On Thursday morning, security forces were attempting to contain a violent reaction to the arrest in the Culiacán area by Guzmán’s associates.

Local government urged people to stay indoors and said schools and administrative offices were closed due to the violence. Unverified videos on social media appeared to show heavy gunfire, including from helicopters during the night. Street blockades had also been erected.

“We ask the citizens of Culiacán not to leave home due to the blockades that have occurred in different parts of the city,” Culiácan’s mayor, Juan de Dios Gámez, wrote on Twitter.

Joaquín Guzmán, 65, was convicted in New York in 2019 of trafficking billions of dollars of drugs to the United States and conspiring to murder enemies. He is serving a life sentence at Colorado’s Supermax, the most secure US federal prison.
Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×