Attorney General Garland announces Mexico’s extradition of ‘El Chapo’ son to the United States.
Ovidio Guzmán López, the son of former Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, was extradited from Mexico City to the United States on Friday. This move comes as he faces charges related to drug trafficking, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Garland stated that this move is the latest measure taken by the Justice Department to target all aspects of the cartel’s activities.
The requests for comment were not promptly addressed by the Mexican government.
In January, the Mexican security forces apprehended Guzmán López, also known as “the Mouse,” in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa state, which shares the same name as the cartel.
Three years earlier, the government had tried to capture him, but aborted the operation after his cartel allies set off a wave of violence in Culiacan.
The arrest in January triggered 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 machine guns that were equipped with .50-caliber ammunition. The cartel’s gunmen successfully targeted and disabled two military aircraft, causing them to make emergency landings. They also dispatched gunmen to the city’s airport, 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, extensive charges were made public by U.S. prosecutors against Guzmán and his siblings, commonly referred to as the “Chapitos.” These charges provided a thorough account of how, after their father’s extradition and subsequent lifelong imprisonment in the U.S., the brothers took control of the cartel and focused more on producing synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine and the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl.
The indictment unsealed in Manhattan said their goal was to produce huge quantities of fentanyl and sell it at the lowest price. Fentanyl is so cheap to make that the cartel reaps immense profits even wholesaling the drug at 50 cents per pill, prosecutors said.
The Chapitos gained notoriety for their extreme brutality, which seemed to exceed the limits of control displayed 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 elevated levels of drug addiction in the U.S. to a decline in family values.
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