The arrest of Ovidio Guzmán-López, son of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, has ignited violence around the city of Culiacán in Mexico on Thursday.
Once the head of the notorious Sinaloa cartel, Guzmán was found guilty of drug trafficking and money laundering in 2019 and is currently serving a life sentence plus 30 years. Guzmán was also ordered to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture.
Guzmán-López is believed to have taken over a faction of the Sinaloa cartel, and the US State Department has claimed that he and his brother, Joaquín, are running nearly a dozen methamphetamine labs in the state of Sinaloa.
The State Department has estimated that around 3000-5000 lb of methamphetamine is produced by the labs per month. It is alleged that Guzmán-López ordered the deaths of multiple informants and a drug trafficker, and that after a well-known Mexican singer refused to perform at his wedding, he ordered their death.
Guzmán-López’s arrest comes after a six-month surveillance operation that had the support of US officials. He was captured in Sinaloa and is being held in a safe location in Mexico City. The Mexican authorities had previously apprehended Guzmán-López in October 2019, but later released him on the orders of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to avoid violent retaliation from his supporters. However, their fears proved to be valid Thursday following Guzmán-López’s arrest, as violence has since erupted around the city of Culiacán.
Gunfire and carjackings have been reported in the city, and a Mexican airline company said that a plane preparing to take off for a flight to Mexico City was fired on. The gunfire hit the fuselage of the plane, but no employees or customers were injured in the attack. In alleged footage of the incident on social media, multiple gunshots can be heard as the plane makes its way down the runway, and passengers can be seen crouching for cover. Torched buses can also be seen on the streets of Culiacán.
Teaching and other administrative activities were suspended by officials, and residents have been urged to stay at home following the uptake in violence. Reports state that 18 people have been taken to the hospital.
Watch the videos below.
Learn more from the report below: