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Ovidio Guzmán, son of “El Chapo”, is being held in a maximum security prison in Mexico after 29 were killed in one arrest

Ovidio Guzmán, son of “El Chapo”, is being held in a maximum security prison in Mexico after 29 were killed in one arrest

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MEXICO CITY – Arrested drug cartel leader Ovidio Guzmanthe son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, is being held at the Altiplano maximum-security prison after an intensive operation in the north, officials said on Friday Mexico that resulted in the deaths of 29 people.

Guzmán’s arrest early Thursday morning unleashed chaos in the city of Culiacan as authorities urged the public not to leave the city while administrative activities were suspended.

His arrest was the result of a lengthy operation involving 200 special forces, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said on Friday. Local officials urged citizens to protect themselves at home amid clashes with cartel members in different parts of the city.

At least 19 suspected gang members and 10 military personnel died in violent clashes in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa after authorities arrested Guzmán along with 21 others. No civilian deaths or injuries were reported.

Security at the Altiplano prison has been tightened since Guzmán’s detention, the minister added.

Guzmán was described as a “high-ranking member of the Sinaloa cartel” in a Dec. 16 statement by the US State Department.

He was previously arrested by federal authorities in October 2019 but released by order of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to avoid further bloodshed.

Guzmán’s father “El Chapo” escaped from Altiplano Prison on July 11, 2015, but was arrested in the US four years later and convicted on 10 counts, including involvement in an ongoing criminal enterprise, drug trafficking and a firearms charge. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years and ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture.

The state of Sinaloa is home to one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in the world, the Sinaloa Cartel, of which “El Chapo” was the leader.

Ovidio Guzmán’s arrest comes days before US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visit Mexico City to attend the North American Leaders Summit.

Capturing Guzmán could be a way for López Obrador to show the US that he “is in control of Mexico’s armed forces and security situation,” said Gladys McCormick, an associate professor at Syracuse University specializing in Mexican relations and the US, told CNN in an email.

“It also defuses the power behind any request by the Biden administration to stem the flow of fentanyl and other narcotics across the border,” she added.

The State Department, which is offering a $5 million reward for information leading to Guzmán’s arrest, said a law enforcement investigation found that Guzmán and his brother Joaquín Guzmán-López “inherited much of the narcotics proceeds” after the death of one another Brother, Edgar Guzmán-López.

They “began investing large amounts of money buying marijuana in Mexico and cocaine in Colombia. They also began buying large quantities of ephedrine from Argentina and arranged for the product to be smuggled into Mexico when they began experimenting with methamphetamine production. ‘ the Foreign Ministry said.

The brothers are also said to oversee an estimated 11 “methamphetamine labs in the state of Sinaloa,” the State Department says.

The CNN Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery company. All rights reserved.

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