Violent protests have broken out in Mexico after authorities arrested Ovidio Guzmán, son of notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmá in a dramatic arrest in the northern state of Sinaloa.
Guzmán has been described as “a high-ranking member of the Sinaloa Cartel” in a press release issued by the United States State Department on December 16, prior to his arrest.
“Law enforcement investigations indicate Ovidio and his brother, Joaquín Guzmán-López, function in high-level command and control roles of their own drug trafficking organization, the Guzmán-López Transnational Criminal Organization, under the umbrella of the Sinaloa Cartel,” said the US.
“The Guzmán-López brothers are currently overseeing approximately eleven methamphetamine labs in the state of Sinaloa producing an estimated 3,000- 5,000 pounds of methamphetamine per month. The methamphetamine is sold wholesale to other Sinaloa members and to U.S.- and Canadian-based distributors. Other information indicates that Ovidio Guzmán-López has ordered the murders of informants, a drug trafficker, and a popular Mexican singer who had refused to sing at his wedding,” said the US.
Guzman was initially arrested in in October 2019, but was released on the orders of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador after similar protests broke out leading to the death of dozens of people in Culiacan.
This time local and state officials in Sinaloa have warned residents to stay inside their houses. The Mexican government had also suspended local government activities and closed schools in Culiacan, while the Mexican military closed Culiacan’s airport amid gunfire.
Mexican airline Aeromexico has said said one of its planes had been hit by gunfire ahead of a scheduled flight to Mexico City, though no one was hurt. Passenger videos posted online showed people cowering on the floor of the plane as shooting could be heard in the background.
The US had offered a five million dollar reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Ovidio, who has become a key figure in the cartel since his father’s arrest.