Attorney General Garland announces Mexico’s extradition of ‘El Chapo’ son to the United States.
MEXICO CITY — Mexico extradited Ovidio Guzmán López, a son of former Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, to the United States on Friday to face drug trafficking charges, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.
Garland stated that this action is the latest move by the Justice Department to target all aspects of the cartel’s activities.
Requests for comment were not immediately responded to by the Mexican government.
In January, the Mexican authorities apprehended Guzmán López, also known as “the Mouse,” in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, which shares the same name as the notorious cartel.
The government had made an attempt to apprehend him three years ago, but they called off the mission when his cartel associates instigated a surge of violence in Culiacan.
The arrest in January sparked comparable violence resulting in the deaths of 30 individuals in Culiacan, including 10 members of the military.
The military employed Black Hawk helicopters armed with guns to counter the cartel’s truck-mounted .50-caliber machine guns. The cartel’s gunmen successfully targeted and forced two military aircraft to make emergency landings. Additionally, they dispatched gunmen to the airport in the city, where both military and civilian aircraft were subjected to gunfire.
The capture came just days before U.S. President Joe Biden visited Mexico for bilateral talks followed by the North American Leaders’ Summit.
In April, the U.S. prosecutors revealed extensive charges against Guzmán and his siblings, commonly referred to as the “Chapitos.” The indictments provided a thorough account of how, after their father’s extradition and subsequent life imprisonment in the U.S., the brothers shifted the cartel’s focus towards synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl.
The unsealed indictment in Manhattan revealed that their objective was to manufacture large amounts of fentanyl and distribute it at the most affordable rate. Fentanyl is produced at such a low cost that the cartel earns substantial profits, even when selling the drug at a mere 50 cents per pill, according to prosecutors.
The Chapitos gained notoriety for their extreme brutality, which seemed to exceed the limits of self-control exhibited by previous cartel leaders.
Fentanyl has become a top priority in the bilateral security relationship. But Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has denied assertions by the U.S. government and his own military about fentanyl production in Mexico, instead describing the country as a transit point for precursors coming from China and bound for the U.S.
López Obrador attributes the high levels of drug addiction in the U.S. to a decline in family values.
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