Ovidio Guzmán, 33, is believed to be the leader of the “Menores”, a faction of the Sinaloa cartel
Mexico on Friday proceeded to extradite Ovidio Guzman, the son of notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, to the United States, US authorities announced.
“Today, U.S. and Mexican law enforcement successfully transferred to the U.S. Department of Justice Ovid Guzmán López, one of El Chapo’s sons, on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering and violent crimes,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a press release released by the White House.
The publication “testifies to the importance of the cooperation of the American and Mexican governments in the fight against drug trafficking,” the text continues, thanking the Mexican authorities.
Ovid Guzmán, also known as “El Ratón” (“The Rat”), was arrested by Mexican authorities on January 5 in a wide-scale and bloody incident, a few days before US President Joe Biden visited the country. Thirty people – ten soldiers, 19 alleged thugs and a police officer – were killed in the fierce exchange of fire between government forces and gunmen in Culiacan, a city of 800,000 people in northwestern Mexico.
US authorities have offered a $5 million reward for his capture, accusing him – like his brother Joaquin Guzman Lopez – of overseeing methamphetamine-producing laboratories in the state of Sinaloa.
“Ovido Guzmán reportedly ordered the killings of informants, a drug trafficker and a folk singer who refused to sing at his wedding,” according to federal Customs and Border Protection data.
His father, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, founder of the Sinaloa cartel, is currently serving a life sentence in the US.
The alleged world’s most powerful drug trafficker until his arrest in 2016 was extradited to the US in 2017, before being sentenced to life in prison in July 2019 after his trial under tight security in New York. He is serving his sentence in a maximum security prison in the state of Colorado.
“Mind” and “Cold Blood”
Ovidio Guzmán, 33, is believed to be the leader of the “Menores”, a faction of the Sinaloa cartel. He is the best known of the “Chapitos”, as the four sons of “Chapo” are called in Mexico (the other three are Joaquin the Younger, Jesus Alfredo and Ivan Archivaldo).
In a song that praises him – released in 2021 –, “Soy El Ratón” (“I am the Rat”), he is described as a leader “with a lot of brains”, as a person with special “calmness” and as a lover of luxury cars.
Until his extradition yesterday, he was being held in Altiplano prison in the central state of Mexico after being convicted of illegal weapons and crimes against public health. He is also being investigated for other criminal offences, in particular for crimes linked to organized crime.
In October 2019, “El Raton” was arrested for a few hours but then released by order of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, following a violent uprising in Culiacan. Mr. López Obrador had insisted that this decision, which was criticized, was correct, that a bloodbath had been avoided.
The US Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) accuses the Sinaloa cartel of being the main trafficker of fentanyl trafficked into the US.
This synthetic opioid, 50 times stronger than heroin, is responsible for tens of thousands of American deaths each year.
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