Mexican authorities have arrested Ovidio Guzmán, also known as El Ratón, for allegedly trafficking fentanyl and other drugs. He is the son of former drug lord Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, who is currently incarcerated in the United States.
El Ratón was detained by federal forces during a raid Thursday in the state of Sinaloa and transferred to a maximum security facility in Mexico City. According to press reports, Ovidio, 32, took over his father's business.
Ovidio Guzmán had been arrested in Culiacán on Oct. 17, 2019, but was released the same day after a violent clash between members of the Sinaloa cartel and security forces. Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was reported to be the one who ordered the release of the drug trafficker's son. AMLO claimed his decision was made to avoid further collateral damage. Seven people were killed in that operation.
El Chapo is facing charges in the United States for conspiracy to traffic Mexican cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. He was considered the world's most powerful drug trafficker by the Treasury Department and his criminal enterprise spanned continents and caused bloodshed throughout Mexico.
Ovidio Guzmán's arrest comes days before US President Joseph Biden's visit to the US-Mexico border next Sunday for the North American Leaders' Summit.
According to the latest reports, one National Guard officer was killed and 27 other people were wounded during Ovidio's arrest. The operation provoked almost twenty blockades and fires set by Guzmán's accomplices, and even direct attacks on aircraft, affecting a commercial plane with a bullet near a fuselage.
”This arrest represents a resounding blow to the top leadership of the Pacific cartel (Sinaloa cartel), Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said.
Sinaloa Governor Rubén Rocha Moya said that the series of violent scenes of about 12 hours began in Culiacán, spreading to Ahome, Los Mochis, Guasave, Escuinapa, and Mazatlán, and have left at least 27 people wounded and one National Guard officer dead.
The major crisis is over. Now we are in the stage of reestablishing some services and attending to some damages such as removing burned vehicles that were used for blockades and attending to people or travelers affected by the suspension of flights, Culiacán Mayor Juan de Dios Gámez told reporters.
Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard denied that US agents had participated in Ovidio's capture. He also admitted that an extradition request from the United States had been received and that now all formalities must be complied with, which takes time.
On December 16 last year, the US government offered a US$ 5 million reward for information leading to the capture of any of El Chapo” Guzmán's four sons.