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Thursday, May 23, 2024

The capture of El Chapo’s Son resulted in the deaths of 10 soldiers and 19 members of the cartel

Mexican authorities said on Friday that a series of gun fights that occurred in the immediate aftermath of the seizure of the son of the legendary drug kingpin known as El Chapo resulted in the deaths of ten Mexican troops, 19 members of a criminal gang, and scores of other persons.

Ovidio Guzmán López, a son of Joaqun Guzmán Loera, was arrested on Thursday in what the government has described as a major blow to one of the country’s most notorious criminal organisations. Ovidio Guzmán López is said to be a leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel that his father once headed. Joaqun Guzmán Loera once headed the cartel. However, the scope of the operation and the significant expenditure associated with it were not made public until the following day, at a press conference that was conducted by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

More than 3,500 troops were involved in the operation, and they returned fire from the ground and from aircraft as members of the cartel shot at soldiers, including with.50-caliber machine guns, and set up roadblocks with flaming vehicles in an effort to free the younger Mr. Guzmán. Officials said that the cartel members were unsuccessful in their attempt to free the younger Mr. Guzmán.

In addition to the 29 men who were shot and died, bullets injured 35 troops, and 21 individuals suspected of belonging to the cartel were captured. The officials did not specify if anybody besides military personnel was hurt in their statement. They said that the authorities had taken possession of amounts of fentanyl and cocaine in addition to six machine guns with a.50-caliber calibre, four semiautomatic rifles with a.50-caliber calibre, 26 additional long weapons, handguns, and 53 vehicles, including 26 armoured vehicles.

The arrest provides Mr. López Obrador with a victory only a few days before he is scheduled to convene a summit meeting with the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. And it at least partly removes the taint of a previous arrest of Mr. Guzmán, which took place in 2019, when the police were forced to liberate him after being overwhelmed by gunmen from a cartel.

According to the authorities, the operation that took place on Thursday followed the lessons learnt from that experience, particularly the need for overwhelming numbers. The capture took place not in the stronghold of the cartel, which is the city of Culiacán in the far northwestern state of Michoacán, but rather in the village of Jess Mara, which is about a 25-mile drive away. This limited both the risk of civilian casualties — there have been no reports of any, they said — and the reinforcements that the cartel could muster.

Rosa Icela Rodrguez Velásquez, the security secretary in the president’s cabinet, said that “We did not come to win a war, we came to make peace.”

According to Mr. Sandoval, a surveillance patrol from the National Guard saw six suspicious trucks early on Thursday morning that seemed to be armoured. The patrol then requested assistance from the Army. However, the people inside the cars disobeyed instructions to exit the vehicles and allow a search before being searched, fought the soldiers, and then escaped.

Mr. Sandoval stated that the police captured 18 armed individuals after trapping them in a home in the area. Among those seized was a man who identified himself as Ovidio Guzmán, but who was referred to the officials on Friday as “Ovidio N.”

According to Mr. Sandoval, rather than attempting to take Mr. Guzmán on highways that the cartel might block, an army helicopter landed in the middle of the firing and transported him to Mexico City. According to him, three planes were brought down by gunfire: two military planes and a commercial airliner at the Culiacan airport. Both of the military planes were forced to land.

According to him, further combat occurred around the nine burning barricades that the cartel had set, and one of the fights that took place in the afternoon resulted in more soldier losses. Mr. López Obrador was quoted as saying that all of the barriers had been removed.

Mr. Guzmán is now the target of criminal investigations and prosecutions in both Mexico and the United States. His father, who had made headlines in 2015 after infamously fleeing from a Mexican jail, was apprehended and deported to the United States. In a federal prison in the United States, he is now serving a term of life in prison.

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