Ovidio Guzmán was briefly captured in October only to be let go hours later as security was overwhelmed by cartel forces
Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on Friday said he personally ordered the release of one of the sons of notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, after his brief detention during a military operation.
Scenes of mayhem during the operation caused López Obrador’s government considerable embarrassment in October as security forces briefly captured Ovidio Guzmán only to let him go hours later as the security forces were overwhelmed by cartel forces.
Likely tipped off ahead of the operation, hundreds of heavily armed gunmen from the Sinaloa cartel poured into Culiacán, a city of a million people. An hours-long siege ensued, as the cartel gunmen erected flaming roadblocks and unloaded bursts of gunfire in the streets in a coordinated effort to free the younger Guzmán.
But the aborted arrest – and the chaos that it unleashed – prompted accusations that the government had simply folded in the face of cartel firepower, and cast further doubt on the president’s efforts to overhaul Mexico’s security strategy.