On Thursday (Jan. 5), violence erupted in the streets of Mexico after local authorities arrested the son of notorious drug kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera aka El Chapo.
The New York Times is reporting that Ovidio Guzmán López was taken into custody after executing an operation in Culiacán. He was then taken to a special prosecutors office in Mexico City, the Mexican secretary of defense stated in a news conference yesterday (Jan. 5). The announcement comes two years after he was originally arrested but released after his cartel soldiers went to war with authorities and actually got that dub over them.
“This arrest represents a resounding blow to the leadership of the Pacific cartel,” the secretary of defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, said at a news conference, using another name for the Sinaloa cartel. “Attacks by the criminal group continue,” Mr. Cresencio said, noting that the cartel had responded to the arrest with road blocks and shootouts. The authorities, he said, are still working “to restore and maintain public order.”
News of the arrest sent López’s cartel into a frenzy as they unleashed a fury of violence on the streets of Culiacán. Social media was flooded with videos of heavy gunfire near the Culiacán airport along with automobiles being set aflame. Gunmen were also carjacking unsuspecting civilians before taking the fight to law enforcement North of the city of Culiacán. The violence led to schools and government building closing as the risk for more harm was at a fever pitch.
Aeromexico, the Mexican carrier, said that at least one bullet had hit the fuselage of a commercial plane that was set to take off for Mexico City on Thursday morning. The airline said everyone on board was safe and that the flight had been canceled. The intelligence officer confirmed that armed groups had fired on a military plane as it was arriving at the Culiacán airport on Thursday morning but that there were no reported injuries.
Regardless of how many Cartel bosses Mexico takes down, it still remains to be seen if it will slow up the drug flow that runs rampant through the country and the violence that comes along with it. Chances are though, it will not.
“It is a message to the United States that Mexico continues the war against drugs,” said Alejandro Hope, a security analyst in Mexico City. “Does it change the structure of the Sinaloa cartel? No. Will it have an impact on drug trafficking? No. Will it reduce violence? No.”
Now we wait and see if Ovidio Guzmán López’s team will be able to strong-arm Mexican authorities into releasing him again.