One week after the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, son of El Chapo: what happened?
(CNN) — More than three years after his failed capture, Ovidio Guzmán López, son of Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán, was arrested in Culiacán, Sinaloa, in the first days of 2023.
The new capture occurred a week ago, on Thursday, January 5, and caused a violent day in Culiacán: there were drug blockades in the city, clashes, and several members of the security forces were injured.
However, when the violent acts began in Culiacán, it was not known why they were occurring, since the official confirmation of the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán was given shortly after.
A week after his capture, we tell you what has happened in the case so far.
The arrest of Ovidio Guzmán
January 5 – Day of violence
Before knowing the capture of Guzmán López, the authorities warned the residents of the Culiacán community to remain safe after clashes and blockades were reported in various parts of the region, as reported on Thursday, January 5, the city council and the Secretariat of State Security through their social networks.
“Vehicle debris and blockades are being presented in different parts of the city, we ask the public not to leave, we are acting accordingly, we will inform when we are in a position,” said the Secretary of Public Security of Sinaloa, Cristóbal Castañeda, at the time. on his Twitter account.
The violent day also caused the suspension of various mass activities, such as classes in the city’s schools and the operations of the Culiacán International Airport, where even a plane of Aeromexico received a bullet impact before takeoff.
In his morning conference that Thursday, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, referred to this situation and said that an operation had been underway since dawn and that it would be the federal Ministry of Public Security that would provide more details of what happened. .
January 5 – Confirmation of arrest
When the violent acts had already been developing for hours, the Mexican security forces confirmed the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, son of El Chapo, carried out at dawn on Thursday in the town of Jesús María, which had sparked chaos in Culiacán ( which is 45 kilometers by road from where the capture was made).
The arrest was confirmed at a joint press conference offered by the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection, Rosa Icela Rodríguez; the head of the Secretary of National Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval; and the Secretary of the Navy, Rafael Ojeda Durán.
In the capture, Cresencio Sandoval said, several security instances participated: the Mexican Army, the National Guard, the National Intelligence Center, the Attorney General’s Office and the Sinaloa Secretary of Public Security.
“In the early morning of January 5 of this year, personnel of the Army and the National Guard of Mexico, in coordination with the National Intelligence Center, the Attorney General of the Republic and the Secretary of Public Security of Sinaloa, detained Ovidio , presumed leader of the Los Menores faction, related to the Pacific Cartel,” Sandoval said.
The Secretary of National Defense added that the arrest was achieved after six months of reconnaissance work in the area where the Los Menores criminal group operated.
Prior to the capture, the security forces detected suspicious vehicles and established a perimeter fence; then, the subjects were urged to get out of said vehicles (pickup trucks), but they began an attack against the Mexican authorities.
“After controlling the direct aggression against the security forces, Ovidio ‘N’ was identified. After the apprehension, criminal cells carried out 19 blockades and attacks in Culiacán, including the International Airport and the Military Air Base Number 10”, reported the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection in a statement.
After the capture, Guzmán López was taken to Mexico City in a helicopter of the Mexican Air Force, “to the facilities of the Specialized Prosecutor for Organized Crime to be made available to the agent of the federal Public Ministry and determine his situation. legal”.
After that, Ovidio was taken to the Altiplano, a maximum security prison located in Almoloya de Juárez, State of Mexico, where Chapo Guzmán was once held.
January 6 – More details on the capture
In the morning conference on Friday, January 6, the authorities gave more information about the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán. Among other things, the following details disclosed by Cresencio Sandoval stand out:
- Due to the operation, the security forces were attacked by subjects aboard approximately 25 vehicles, some armored.
- The attackers took refuge in three homes and from there they continued firing, which caused the death of seven soldiers and left nine more wounded.
- In total, the operation to arrest Ovidio left the following balance: 10 dead soldiers, 35 more injured, 19 dead assailants and 21 detainees.
- Likewise, four Barret Cal. .50” rifles, six Cal. .50” machine guns, 26 long arms, two short arms, chargers, cartridges and diverse tactical equipment, 13 vehicles, and 40 vans, 26 of them armored, were disabled. .
January 6 – Judge temporarily suspends extradition to the United States
Although the Secretary of the Interior, Adán Augusto López, indicated that Ovidio Guzmán was arrested in flagrante delicto for various crimes – “including possession of weapons for the exclusive use of the Army and attempted homicide” – the Mexican authorities confirmed that the son of Chapo He had an arrest warrant against him for extradition purposes since 2019, which was executed by the Attorney General’s Office when Guzmán López arrived in Mexico City.
However, on Friday afternoon, a federal judge in Mexico City temporarily suspended Ovidio’s extradition to the United States, a country that is requesting him for drug trafficking and offering up to US$5 million for information leading to his capture. .
The judge also suspended the measure that prevented Guzmán from communicating with his family and his legal team.
Despite this, the foreign minister of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, had indicated on Friday morning that the possible extradition of Guzmán López would not be immediate due to the formalities of the law.
Ebrard explained that, when the person is arrested, a term is established for the country that requires the extradition to present the evidence of the case.
“We estimate that this will happen between four and six weeks from now by the United States,” the foreign minister explained.
January 6 – Pretrial detention
Later, a federal judge ordered Ovidio Guzmán 60 days of preventive detention for the purpose of extradition to the United States after a hearing at the Altiplano prison justice center, according to reports by the Televisa network and other Mexican media.
In statements to Televisa, a CNN affiliate, Alberto Díaz Mendieta, one of Guzmán’s lawyers, said that as long as there is no formal extradition request “we cannot talk about a strategy or anything.”
The formal request for extradition will be carried out by the US within four to six weeks after the capture that Ebrard previously estimated.
In total, the United States has 60 days from capture to request extradition; that is, the limit is March 5.
January 9 – Ratification of suspension
According to Televisa’s N+, on Monday, January 9, a judge ratified the provisional suspension of Ovidio’s extradition to the United States.
Due to this measure, Guzmán López will have to remain in the Altiplano and a court will decide whether to grant a definitive suspension of the extradition order.
In other words, while the case progresses and the formal request for extradition arrives, the son of El Chapo will take his case in the Altiplano prison and is at the disposal of the court.
With information from Elizabeth Plaza, José Raúl Linares, Paulina Gómez, Fidel Gutiérrez and Kiarinna Parisi.