National Security

Mexican Authorities Capture El Chapo’s Son In Operation Involving 900 Troops

Photo by MARCOS VIZCARRA/AFP via Getty Images

James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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Mexican authorities captured Ovidio Guzmán, the son of jailed cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and alleged fentanyl trafficker, in a Thursday morning raid.

He was arrested overnight outside the city of Culiacan by 900 troops from the Mexican army, national guard and state police, the Washington Post reported. The operation had been planned by authorities for more than six months, according to ABC News.

Guzmán’s arrest sparked a wave of gang violence in cities across the Mexican state of Sinaloa, including gunmen firing at planes flying out of the airport in Culiacan, the state capital, the Post noted. The outlet also reported that a video of the operation circulating on social media shows “a helicopter gunship opening fire on a home, the bullets streaking through the dark predawn sky.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Agent Shot Near Border Days Ahead Of Biden’s Visit)

Guzmán has allegedly played a major role in the Sinaloa Cartel since his father’s 2017 extradition to the United States by Mexican prosecutors. The U.S. government had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Guzmán’s arrest for allegedly trafficking narcotics and ordering multiple murders, according to the U.S. State Department.

In 2019, Guzmán was detained by Mexican authorities but released shortly after when violent shootouts broke out between the Sinaloa Cartel and the Mexican army.

The humiliating episode, known as the “Culiacanazo,” was a setback for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s plan to crack down on drug cartels, ABC News reported.

Guzmán was transported from Culiacan to Mexico City in military aircraft, Mexican Defense Minister Luis Cresenio Sandoval said at a press conference, Reuters reported.

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be visiting López Obrador for a summit in Mexico City beginning Jan. 9. Biden plans to visit El Paso, Texas before the summit, the first southern border visit of his presidency and his political career.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.