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Son of infamous Mexican drug lord El Chapo extradited to US over drug trafficking

 Ovidio “El Ratón” Guzmán. — BBC\US State Department

The US Attorney General, on Friday, announced that the infamous drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s son has been extradited to the US on drug trafficking accusations.

Ovidio Guzmán, who was also accused of ordering the murder of a singer who refused to sing at his wedding, has been taken into custody in northern Mexico for leading the Sinaloa drug cartel with his brother.

He was arrested in January and has been in custody since his arrest, according to BBC.

“This action is the most recent step in the Justice Department’s effort to attack every aspect of the cartel’s operations,” US Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement regarding the extradition.

“The fight against the cartels has involved incredible courage by United States law enforcement and Mexican law enforcement and military service members, many of whom have given their lives in the pursuit of justice.”

Garland expressed gratitude to the Mexican government for aiding in bringing Ovidio to the US, but no immediate response was received from Mexican authorities.

Guzmán’s arrest follows 33-year-old Emma Coronel’s release from US jail after being sentenced to drug trafficking in November 2021, while her husband, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, serves a life sentence in Colorado.

Ovidio Guzmán — also famous among other drug traffickers as “El Ratón” (The Mouse) — is one of four children El Chapo had during his relationship with Griselda López in the 1980s and 90s and was once arrested outside Culiacán after a six-month surveillance operation.

An exchange of fire resulted in the deaths of 29 people and led to the burning of buses and cars by cartel members to block access to police reinforcements in Mexico City, prompting Ovidio to be flown to the city by helicopter.

The oldest, Edgar, was killed in a cartel shootout in 2008. El Chapo also had other children from his previous marriage and his subsequent relationship with Coronel.

In June 2020, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered the release of Guzmán who had been briefly detained by security forces. He later went into hiding for 18 months before his re-arrest in January 2023. The president’s orders were aimed at protecting the population.

The Sinaloa cartel, a notorious transnational criminal organisation, is estimated to have smuggled over 1,000 tonnes of drugs into the US, using its hitmen to kidnap, torture, and kill rival gang members to maintain its power.

Meanwhile, in Mexico and throughout Central America, members of the organisation have also bought off police personnel and powerful politicians to ignore drug shipments or even inform them of imminent searches.

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