Mexico: 29 people dead in operation to arrest son of ‘El Chapo’ | Drugs News

Ten troopers are amongst these killed throughout arrest of drug kingpin’s son, which sparks violence by cartel, authorities says.

Not less than 29 folks, together with 10 troopers, have been killed in an operation to arrest the son of jailed Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s authorities says after a shootout with cartel members.

Ovidio Guzman, nicknamed “El Raton”, or “The Mouse”, was rounded up early on Thursday within the northern state of Sinaloa and flown to Mexico Metropolis on a navy airplane.

“Ten members of the navy … sadly misplaced their lives within the line of responsibility,” Defence Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval instructed reporters on Friday, including 19 “lawbreakers” have been additionally killed within the operation. One other 35 troopers sustained gunshot wounds.

Members of the Sinaloa Cartel and their associates went on a rampage after Ovidio Guzman’s arrest, preventing safety forces, setting automobiles on hearth and blocking roads throughout the Pacific coastal state.

The violence was concentrated in and round Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, house of the highly effective drug cartel, which “El Chapo” headed earlier than his seize in 2016 and extradition to the USA in 2017.

Firefighters extinguish a fire of a vehicle after violence in Mexico
Firefighters extinguish a car set ablaze by drug cartel members in Mazatlan, Mexico, on January 5, 2023 [Stringer/Reuters]

Twenty-one different folks have been arrested throughout Thursday’s operations, Sandoval mentioned throughout a information convention, including there have been no studies of any civilian deaths.

The arrest of Ovidio Guzman, 32, adopted six months of intelligence work to trace him down, the federal government mentioned, and he’s now being held at a most safety federal jail.

Sandoval mentioned a passenger airplane that was nearly to take off from Culiacan airport and two air drive plane have been hit as members of the Sinaloa Cartel launched the offensive to rescue Ovidio Guzman.

The air drive planes “needed to make an emergency touchdown” after receiving “a major variety of impacts”, Sandoval mentioned. Nobody was injured.

Reporting from Mexico Metropolis, Al Jazeera’s John Holman mentioned the state of affairs in Culiacan appeared to have calmed down on Friday with automobiles driving on the streets once more.

Requested whether or not the youthful Guzman’s arrest would rein within the work of the drug cartels, Holman mentioned previous arrests of leaders have proven that “the technique of knocking out kingpins and hoping that meaning the entire construction falls aside has been proven to simply not work.”

“What’s occurred on varied totally different events is both it simply carries on, or the organisations splinter into totally different teams,” Holman mentioned.

“El Chapo”, which implies “Shorty”, is serving a life sentence within the US for trafficking lots of of tonnes of medicine into the nation over the course of 25 years.

Nevertheless, his cartel stays probably the most highly effective in Mexico, accused by Washington of exploiting an opioid epidemic by flooding communities with fentanyl, an artificial drug about 50 occasions stronger than heroin.

Ovidio Guzman and considered one of his brothers are accused of overseeing practically a dozen methamphetamine labs in Sinaloa in addition to conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana, in keeping with the US Division of State.

He additionally allegedly ordered the murders of informants, a drug trafficker and a Mexican singer who refused to carry out at his marriage ceremony, the division mentioned.

Ovidio Guzman was  arrested simply days earlier than US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are to satisfy with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico Metropolis for 2 days of talks.

Whereas Mexican officers have tried to downplay the timing of the operation, Al Jazeera’s Holman mentioned many observers are sceptical. “Each time considered one of these large conferences occurs, normally the Mexican authorities tries to get some type of large win – both by way of capturing medication or making an attempt to seize some type of boss,” he mentioned.

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