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AMLO denies that the capture of Ovidio Guzmán has to do with the arrival of Biden

(CNN Spanish) — “We act with autonomy,” insisted the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, when asked at a press conference this Friday if the capture of Ovidio Guzmán López, son of drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, was related to the arrival of the US President Joe Biden to Mexico.

The Mexican president denied that the operation this Thursday in Culiacán, Sinaloa, which ended with the capture of Guzmán López, had been planned for the arrival of Biden, who will visit the country as part of the North American Leaders Summit at the that Biden, AMLO and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, will hold meetings to discuss key issues for the region.

“About the interpretations there are many, we do not share them, we act autonomously,” said AMLO.

Regarding the situation in Culiacán, López Obrador reported that the presence of “elements of the Secretary of Defense of the National Guard” and the State Police will be maintained to prevent harm to the civilian population in Sinaloa.

The president said that there was calm at the moment and that although it has not yet been possible to remove all the vehicles that blocked the roads in the area, they are working on it.

“In Culiacán we have already opened all the blocked streets and we are in the task of removing the burned cars that we put on the sidewalks,” said the president.

AMLO added that there was no support or intervention from the United States in the operation.

When would Ovidio Guzmán be extradited?

The Mexican authorities reported that Guzmán López was arrested in flagrante delicto for various crimes, but that he is at the disposal of the Prosecutor’s Office.

AMLO affirmed that the request is made by the government to the US but the evidence, the elements must be presented, and the judges in Mexico decide. “It is not just the request, but it is proving the type of crime for which you are being asked” in extradition.

“There is no (…) fast track,” added the president.

A federal judge in Mexico City on Friday suspended the extradition of Ovidio Guzmán to the United States, a country that is requesting his extradition for drug trafficking and offering up to US$5 million for information leading to the capture of a man described as ” a senior member of the Sinaloa Cartel.”

Marcelo Ebrard, Secretary of Foreign Relations, had given details of how the case of Guzmán López would proceed. There is an arrest request dated September 19, 2019, but he anticipated that the possible extradition would not be immediate due to the formalities of the law. He also clarified that Ovidio Guzmán has an open process in Mexico.

“The law sets deadlines for the evidence against people to be presented. We estimate that this will happen between four and six weeks from now by the US, which submitted the extradition request,” he explained.

If the evidence proceeds, it will be the judge of the case who makes the decision. The trial will begin on January 9, added the secretary.

The US charges against Ovidio Guzmán 0:46

Soldiers and cartel members killed in the operation to capture Ovidio Guzmán López

The Secretary of National Defense of Mexico, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, said at a press conference that there were 19 deaths and 21 detainees from criminal groups and detailed the attacks and blockades that took place in Culiacán during the operation.

After the capture, dozens of weapons from the group were seized, in addition to vehicles and armored trucks.

On the part of government forces, there were 10 military personnel killed and 35 wounded with firearms receiving medical attention, Sandoval said.

“There is no information on a civilian who has lost their lives due to these operations,” he added.

Similarly, he reported that at a home they managed to seize drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and fentanyl.

Sandoval said Thursday that the recapture of Ovidio Guzmán, alias “El Ratón” and son of the convicted leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, was the result of “six months of reconnaissance and surveillance work in the area of ​​influence.” of Los Menores, a criminal organization related to the Pacific Cartel that, according to Sandoval, was headed by the son of Chapo.

The secretary added that elements of the National Guard and the Army, in coordination with the Attorney General of the Republic and the Sinaloa Secretary of Public Security, participated in the joint operation in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in which “personal armed” who was traveling in several trucks.

Ovidio Guzmán, in the same prison from which his father escaped

Guzmán López was transferred on Thursday night to the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (Cefereso) number 1, known as the Altiplano maximum security prison, located in the municipality of Almoloya de Juárez, in the state of Mexico. This was the same prison from which his father, El Chapo Guzmán, escaped in 2015, through a tunnel in a spectacular escape in which he took advantage of a blind spot in a cell.

Sandoval affirmed that the Altiplano has been reinforced with security circles and that 1,000 soldiers will join this task “to continue with operations in Sinaloa.”

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