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.
The requests for comment were not immediately responded to 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.
The government had made an attempt to apprehend him three years ago, but they called off the mission when his cartel associates caused a surge 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 deployed Black Hawk helicopters to counter the cartel’s truck-mounted .50-caliber machine guns. The cartel successfully targeted and forced two military aircraft to make emergency landings. Additionally, they 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, the U.S. prosecutors revealed extensive charges against Guzmán and his siblings, referred to as the “Chapitos.” The indictments provided a thorough account of how, after their father was extradited and received a life sentence in the U.S., the brothers gradually shifted the cartel’s focus towards 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 extremely brutal acts, which seemed to exceed the limits of self-control demonstrated by previous cartel leaders.
Fentanyl is now a major concern in the security partnership between the two countries. However, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has refuted claims made by both the U.S. government and his own military regarding fentanyl production in Mexico. Instead, he characterizes Mexico as a transit location for precursors originating from China and destined 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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