Mexico extradites ‘El Chapo’ Cartel Kingpin’s son to US on drug trafficking charges
Mexico has extradited Ovidio Guzman Lopez, the son of notorious Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, to the United States to face drug trafficking charges, according to a statement by US Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Ovidio Guzman Lopez, known by aliases “El Raton” or “The Mouse,” was indicted earlier this year on charges related to drug trafficking, particularly linked to the fentanyl crisis that has afflicted the United States. His father, Joaquin Guzman, was convicted in 2019 for leading one of the world’s largest narcotics syndicates and is currently serving a life sentence in a supermax prison in Colorado.
US Attorney General Garland praised the extradition as a significant step in the ongoing efforts by the Justice Department to combat various aspects of cartel operations. Garland stated, “The Justice Department will continue to hold accountable those responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic that has devastated too many communities across the country.”
The White House also commended this extradition as a testament to “ongoing cooperation” between the United States and Mexico, indicating a desire to move past previous friction related to antinarcotics efforts.
Homeland Security Advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall expressed gratitude to Mexican counterparts for their partnership in safeguarding both nations from violent criminals.
Cooperation between Mexican and US security forces faced challenges last year when Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador disbanded a unit that had long worked closely with US Drug Enforcement Administration agents. President Lopez Obrador had accused US agents of “abusive interference” in Mexican affairs.
Following the conviction of Joaquin Guzman, several of his sons, collectively referred to as “the Little Chapos,” assumed control of the Sinaloa Cartel, according to US authorities. Ovidio Guzman was captured in Culiacan, Sinaloa, on January 5, leading to a violent clash in which 29 people died, including 10 military personnel and 19 alleged criminals.
This operation evoked memories of massive shootouts in 2019 when Ovidio Guzman was briefly detained but later released to avoid bloodshed.
US authorities had offered a $5 million bounty for his arrest, alleging that Ovidio and his brother, Joaquin Guzman Lopez, oversaw methamphetamine labs in Sinaloa state that produced an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of meth each month.
Furthermore, Ovidio Guzman Lopez was accused of ordering the murders of informants, a fellow drug trafficker, and a popular Mexican singer who had declined to perform at his wedding, according to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.
At the age of 33, Ovidio Guzman Lopez now faces the prospect of spending his initial nights in a US prison while, coincidentally, his father’s wife, Emma Coronel, has been released from a California halfway house this week after serving her sentence for collaborating with “El Chapo” Guzman in his narcotics activities. Coronel, a dual US-Mexican citizen, is not Ovidio Guzman’s mother.