Who is Ovidio Guzmán, the son of Chapo extradited from Mexico to the United States (and what is known about his brothers)

Who is Ovidio Guzmán, the son of Chapo extradited from Mexico to the United States (and what is known about his brothers)

The United States government reported that Ovidio Guzmán López, son of the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel, El Chapo, was extradited this Friday to its territory from Mexico.

“This action is the latest step in the Department of Justice’s effort to attack all aspects of the cartel’s operations,” the US attorney general said in a statement. Merrick B. Garland.

“I thank our counterparts in the Mexican government for this extradition. “The Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable those responsible for fueling the opioid epidemic that has devastated too many communities across the country,” he added without elaborating.

After his father was sentenced in the US to life imprisonment for drug trafficking in 2019, Ovidio Guzmán, alias El Ratón, was considered one of the leaders of the Sinaloa cartel and was accused by Washington of conspiracy to distribute drugs to be imported into the United States.

His arrest took place last January in Culiacán, in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, after a large police and army deployment in which 10 soldiers and 19 alleged criminals died.

Before, in 2019, he had already been detained and released shortly after due to the violent response that the Mexican Armed Forces faced and that plunged Culiacán into chaos for hours.

After his arrest this year, Guzmán had remained in a maximum security prison in Mexico. His extradition, which had been requested for four years by the US, was finally carried out this Friday.

Who is Ovidio Guzmán?

El Ratón is one of four children from El Chapo’s relationship with his second wife, Griselda López Pérez.

It is estimated that El Chapo, who is serving time in a high-security US prison, has at least 10 children from his various marriages.

In 2018, Ovidio was accused by the US Department of Justice of conspiracy to distribute drugs to be imported into the US, along with his brother Joaquín Guzmán López.

According to prosecutors, from April 2008 to April 2018, both conspired to distribute cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine from Mexico to the United States.

Last April, he was again indicted by the US on federal charges along with two other of his brothers (Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar and Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, known as “Los Chapitos”) and 25 other alleged members of the cartel. Sinaloa in the framework of an extensive investigation into fentanyl trafficking.

Mexican soldiers patrol the streets of Culiacán this January 5
Getty Images
The arrest of Ovidio Guzmán last January in Culiacán caused significant unrest in the city.

According to the Mexican network Televisa, Ovidio is the brother of Joaquín, Griselda and Édgar Guzmán, who was allegedly killed by members of the Beltrán Leyva cartel.

Ovid and his brothers have a reputation for impetuous, excessively violent young people without great strategic skills like their father’s.

It was in 2012 when the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury added Guzmán to its list of individuals linked to international organized crime, thus ordering his assets in that country to be frozen.

It is also known that he was born in Badiraguato, Sinaloa, the land of Chapo. Mexican media report that he describes himself as a man who is not particularly interested in luxuries or sports cars.

On the other hand, he would be interested in horses and fine roosters.

Ray Donovan, the DEA special agent who led the 22-agency effort that led to the capture of Chapo Guzmán, told CNN after his arrest that the Sinaloa cartel still supplied the vast majority of drug markets. Americans.

“In fact, the sons ofl Chapo have now risen to the ranks of the Sinaloa cartel and they have taken over Chapo’s entire organization,” he said.

Chapo’s other children

El Chapo had 10 children with three women: Alejandrina Salazar, Griselda López and Emma Coronel. There is not public information about all of them, but some of them, like Ovidio, have been related to criminal activities.

With Alejandrina he had four children, giving rise to the Guadalajara clan. While with Griselda he had four others, among whom is Ovidio, who grew up in Culiacán.

With his first wife, Estela Peña, he had no descendants. And with Emma Coronel he had two twin daughters who are minors.

“El Chapo is a man with very little education, his children have a very different profile,” Francisco Jiménez, PhD in Law, researcher and member of the Security and Justice Observatory of the University of Guadalajara, told BBC Mundo in 2019.

Joaquin, Iván Archivaldo and Jesúes Alfredo are three of Chapo's sons linked to criminal activities.
US Department of State
Joaquin, Iván Archivaldo and Jesús Alfredo are three of Chapo’s sons linked to criminal activities.

“The children who grew up in Guadalajara had greater access to education and entered the business field.”

In Culiacán the environment was harsher and survival had to be earned day by day, the researcher added at that time.

Among the children who grew up in Guadalajara is Jesús Alfredo, who is on the list of the most wanted drug traffickers by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the DEA.

And also Iván Archivaldo, arrested in 2005 on charges of money laundering for the Sinaloa cartel.

After spending three years in the Mexican maximum security Puente Grande prison – the same one from which his father escaped years ago – he was released due to lack of evidence.

While in Culiacán, Ovidio had two other brothers who have been linked to criminal acts. These are Édgar, who was murdered in May 2008 while he was in a shopping center, and Joaquín, who has also been accused of drug trafficking by the US.

The real power that each of Chapo’s children who are related to the Sinaloa cartel has is unknown. In the past there has been talk that they disputed control of the organization with Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada.

“The thing is that these organizations are not vertical. They do not function as if it were a dictatorship,” Alejandro Hope, security analyst, explained to BBC Mundo in 2019.

“Power is distributed,” added the expert.

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