Crime & Justice

Mexico’s Sinaloa seeks to restore calm after drug lord son’s arrest

Mexico City/Culiacán, Jan 6 (EFE).- A day after the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, one of the sons of notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, complete calm had yet to return to the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa.

Guzmán’s arrest early Thursday sparked a wave of violence in Sinaloa, especially in the capital city of Culiacán, Los Mochis and Mazatlan.

At least 29 people were killed, including 10 members of the Mexican Armed Forces and 19 belonging to organized crime organizations, the Mexican government reported.

Roads blocked by torched vehicles, armed aggressions, the closure of airports and the suspension of business and school activities were reminiscent of the violence that transpired in Sinaloa in 2019 after the first arrest of the alleged drug trafficker.

He was later released by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador after his supporters sparked violence in the city.

At a press conference on Friday, Sinaloa’s Governor Rubén Rocha said that the state was returning to normal.

“There are no active blockades by armed groups (although) we still have some (affected) roads,” he said.

Meanwhile, the airports of Culiacán, Mazatlan, Ciudad Obregón and Los Mochis resumed operations after having suspended them on Thursday morning due to the violence.

Nicknamed “El Ratón,” Guzmán, who carried a reward of up to $5 million on his head, is wanted by the United States.

After his arrest, he was taken to the Federal Center for Social Readaptation No. 1, La Palma, also known as the Almoloya prison, where his father was detained and escaped from in 2015.

At a hearing on Friday, federal judge Gregorio Salazar ordered preventive detention for the alleged drug trafficker and set a 60-day deadline for the US to present the necessary documents for his extradition.

Hours earlier, a judge in Mexico City issued an injunction to halt Guzmán’s extradition and suspended a measure that prevented him from communicating with his family members and lawyers.

During the morning press conference, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed that the US had requested Guzmán’s extradition in 2019, but estimated that it would take between four to six weeks to present the evidence to make it effective.

According to media reports, Guzmán’s lawyers claimed that he suffers from depression and anxiety and was recovering from an unspecified surgery and requested that he be provided with his medicines.

However, the judge ordered the necessary tests to be conducted to determine if the request should be granted.

Guzmán’s arrest occurred four days before US President Joe Biden arrives in Mexico for the Summit of North American Leaders, which will also be attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

However, López Obrador denied any connection between the arrest and the summit. EFE


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