The streets of Culiacán, Mexico, have been ablaze with gunfire and fighting after word got out authorities had captured El Chapo’s son, Ovidio Guzmán López.
Home of El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel, Culiacán erupted with the sound of sniper rifles while masked men strapped with machine guns rode around on the back of trucks, opening fire on Mexican security forces, as well as the country’s newly created national guard.
Meanwhile, horrifying videos emerged, showing gunmen burning vehicles as a barricade in a bid to block several streets within the city.
— Juan Pablo Pérez Díaz (@PerezDiazMX) October 17, 2019
Ovidio and his brother Joaquin were charged with drug trafficking in February. The siblings were accused of conspiring to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States, and other parts of the world, between 2008 and 2018. The pair were fugitives at the time and were believed to be hiding in Mexico.
After his father was sentenced to life in prison, Ovidio attempted to gain control of the Sinaloa cartel, however he faced pushback from its co-founder Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, who is believed to have wanted him out.
On Thursday, Ovidio was detained by the Mexican National Guard and army troops, who raided a house in Culiacán where he was staying, according to Mexican security secretary Alfonso Durazo.
But as word spread of his arrest, the streets of Culiacán were likened to a warzone as cartel members opened fire on Mexican authorities.
However, it has now been revealed Mexican officials have decided to release Joaquin ‘to protect lives’ after cartel members turned the Mexican city into an urban warzone, New York Post reports.
According to Durazo, the government knew the armed gunmen had a ‘greater force’ as they surrounded the house where Ovidio was being held, prompting officials to let him go, knowing they were being outmatched.
— LaGaceta.me (@LaGaceta_me) October 17, 2019
As per the New York Times, he said:
The decision was taken to retreat from the house, without Guzman, to try to avoid more violence in the area and preserve the lives of our personnel and recover calm in the city.
The lawyer representing Ovidio, José Luis Gonzalez Meza, gave a television appearance, praising the move.
According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, he said:
Thank God, Ovidio has appeared. He is free.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.