Mexico extradites ‘El Chapo’s son Ovidio Guzmán López to US

Mexico has extradited Ovidio Guzmán López, a son of former Sinaloa cartel head Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, to the U.S. on Friday to face drug trafficking, money laundering and other charges, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. 

“This action is the most recent step in the Justice Department’s effort to attack every aspect of the cartel’s operations,” Garland added in the official statement.  

The Mexican government didn’t promptly respond to requests for comment, Associated Press reported. 

Mexican security forces arrested Ovidio, known as “the Mouse,” in January in Culiacan, capital of Sinaloa state, the cartel’s namesake. 

Three years ago, the government had attempted to catch him, however aborted the operation after his cartel allies set off a wave of violence in Culiacan. 

January’s capture set off similar violence that killed 30 people in Culiacan, including 10 military personnel. The army used Black Hawk helicopter gunships against the cartel’s truck-mounted .50-caliber machine guns. Cartel shooters hit two military airplanes compelling them to land and sent shooters to the city’s airport where military and civilian aircraft were hit by gunfire. 

Ovidio’s capture came only days before U.S. President Joe Biden visited Mexico for bilateral talks followed by the North American Leaders’ Summit. 

On Friday, Laurel perceived the law enforcement and military members who had given their lives in the U.S. and Mexico. “The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable those responsible for fuelling the opioid epidemic that has devastated too many communities across the country.”  

Mike Vigil, previous head of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration, said he accepted the Mexican government worked for the extradition of someone like Ovidio’s stature. It typically requires no less than two years to win extradition as lawyers make various filings as a postponing strategy. 

“This happened quicker than normal,” Vigil said, noting that a few conservative members of the U.S. Congress had raised the possibility of U.S. military intervention if Mexico didn’t do more to stop the progression of drugs. Vigil dismissed the thought as “political theater,” yet proposed it put pressure on Mexico to act. 

Homeland Security Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall said in a statement that the extradition is testament to the significance of the ongoing cooperation between the American and Mexican governments on countering narcotics and other vital challenges, and we thank our Mexican counterparts for their partnership in working to safeguard our peoples from violent criminals.” 

Sherwood-Randall made numerous visits to Mexico this year to meet with President Andrés Manuel López-Obrador, the latest being last month. 

In April, U.S. prosecutors unlocked sprawling indictments against Guzmán and his brothers, referred to as the “Chapitos.” They spread out exhaustively how following their dad’s extradition and possible life sentence in the U.S., the siblings directed the cartel progressively into engineered drugs like methamphetamine and the strong synthetic opioid fentanyl. 

The indictment unsealed in Manhattan said their objective was to deliver huge amounts of fentanyl and sell it at the most minimal cost. Fentanyl is so cheap to make that the cartel harvests tremendous benefits in any event, wholesaling it at 50 cents per pill, prosecutors said. The brothers denied the allegations in a letter. 

The Chapitos became known for bizarre brutality that seemed to outperform any ideas of restraint shown by earlier generations of cartel leaders. 

Vigil portrayed Ovidio as a mid-level leader in the cartel and not even the head of the brothers. 

“It’s a symbolic victory but it’s not going to have any impact whatsoever on the Sinaloa cartel,” he said. “It will continue to function, it will continue to send drugs into the United States, especially being the largest producers of fentanyl.” 

Fentanyl has turned into the main concern in the bilateral security relationship. In any case, López Obrador has described his country as a transit point for forerunners coming from China and headed for the U.S., notwithstanding declarations by the U.S. government and his own military about fentanyl production in Mexico. 

López Obrador faults a crumbling of family values in the U.S. for the elevated degrees of drug addiction use in that country. 

According to data available with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an estimated 109,680 overdose deaths occurred last year in the U.S. About 71,000 of those were linked to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. 

Cheap fentanyl is progressively cut into other drugs, frequently without the purchasers’ knowledge. 

Mexico’s fentanyl seizures normally come when the drug has been squeezed into pills and is set out toward the U.S. border. 

U.S. prosecutors allege that a significant part of the production happens in and around Culiacan, where the Sinaloa cartel has almost complete control. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Newseum Global