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At least 29 people killed in violence following arrest of Mexican cartel boss El Chapo’s son

Wave of violence broke out in state of Sinaloa after government arested Ovidio Guzman

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 06 January 2023 20:49 GMT
Passengers duck for cover as bullets hit plane moments after El Chapo’s son arrested

At least 29 people were killed in violence sparked by the arrest of the son of Mexican drug kingpin El Chapo, according to authorities.

Nineteen suspected gang members and 10 military personnel died after the capture of Ovidio Guzman in the state of Sinaloa, said Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval.

Ovidio Guzman, the 32-year-old son of jailed drug boss Joaquin Guzman, was arrested by authorities on Thursday, a week before Joe Biden is set to visit the country.

In retaliation, Cartel foot soldiers in the Sinaloa capital city of Culiacan attacked an airport and shot at military and civilian airplanes in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Mr Guzman from being extricated. Authorities say that the airport will remain closed on Friday.

Convoys of the cartel soldiers riding in pick-up trucks also attacked military personnel with machine guns and heavy weaponry, setting fire to trucks and blocking exit roads from the city.

A total of 21 other people were also arrested in the operation, which was carried out by 200 special forces troops.

Sinaloa is the home base of the drug cartel that El Chapo ran before his 2016 arrest that led to extradition to the US in 2017.

Following Ovidio Guzman’s arrest he was placed on a helicopter and flown to Mexico City where he is being held in a maximum security federal prison.

An extra 1,000 military personnel will arrive in Sinaloa on Friday to deal with the unrest, according to Mr Sandoval.

Ovidio Guzman became a key cartel figure following his father’s arrest and conviction and was briefly detained three years ago but embarrassingly released to end violence in Culiacan.

The arrest comes as Joe Biden prepares to attend a summit of North American leaders in Mexico City next week. The US had offered a $5m reward for information leading to his capture or arrest.

Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that no US forces were involved in the arrest.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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