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Mexican cartel force release of ‘El Chapo’s son, outgunning police with 50 cal, sniper rifles and more

Mexican military (Presidencia de la República Mexicana/Flickr)
October 18, 2019

The success of a Mexican military operation to capture Ovidio Guzmán López was short-lived after Sinaloa Cartel gunmen surrounded and outgunned the Mexican authorities on Thursday.

Residents of Culiacan, the capital of the Sinaloa Mexican state, were advised to stay off the streets and out of the crossfire as Mexican authorities endured an hours-long gun battle with cartel fighters. Ovidio Guzman, the son of the infamous cartel boss Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera (better known as “El Chapo”) was eventually released, according to ABC 7.

The cartel fighters reportedly blocked entrances into Culiacan with burning vehicles, and used vehicle-mounted machine guns and other heavy weapons into the fight.

One video, shared by Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra, purportedly showed cartel gunmen controlling an intersection of the city with a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on top of a truck.

In another video, a cartel gunman could be seen firing .50 caliber sniper rifle down the Culiacan streets, further demonstrating the Sinaloa cartel has the ability to damage armored and reinforced targets.

Mexican security secretary Alfonso Durazo said 30 members of Mexico’s National Guard and army were patrolling in Culiacan when they were fired upon from a nearby house. The reportedly repelled the attack and took control of the house, where they found also found and captured Ovidio Guzman.

“El Chapo” was convicted and sentenced to life in prison by a U.S. federal court in July after having been captured in 2016. He was also ordered to pay some $12.6 billion for his crimes.

Prosecutors said the drug kingpin ran a violent criminal enterprise running heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine in “the world’s largest and most prolific drug trafficking organization.”

Since “El Chapo’s” capture, his best-known sons Iván Archivaldo Guzmán and Jesús Alfredo Guzmán have run “los Chapitos,” or “the little Chapos,” taking over for their father’s wing of the Sinaloa Cartel,

While Ovidio Guzmán was not one of “El Chapo’s” better-known sons, he and a fourth brother were reportedly indicted in a U.S. federal court in 2018 on a range of drug trafficking charges.

Along with capturing Ovidio Guzmán, the Mexican security forces also held 20 other cartel prisoners, which they surrendered to the cartel forces alongside Ovidio Guzmán.

Those 20 cartel prisoners reportedly joined in the Culiacan uprising.

Additional Mexican security forces were dispatched to reinforce their outnumbered comrades and some of the 20 escaped cartel members were recaptured but many remain at large.

“El Chapo’s” family lawyer, José Luis González Meza, confirmed Guzmán’s family has assessed that “Ovidio is alive and free” but did not speak to the his whereabouts or the attack.

Other videos of the attack did show dozens of fleeing and hiding civilians.

Sinaloa public safety director Cristóbal Castañeda reportedly said people were injured in the gun battle, but could not provide a full casualty assessment. He also did not rule out possible deaths during the battle.