Ovidio Guzmán, known as “The Mouse”, was arrested in an operation by security forces from the army and the National Guard before dawn on Thursday in the city of Culiacán.
The security forces were fired upon as they surrounded a convoy of SUVs, but the military managed to gain control of the situation and were able to arrest and disarm the cartel members. One of them was identified as Ovidio Guzmán, one of the designated leaders of the so-called Sinaloa Cartel.
The dramatic operation was the result of six months of reconnaissance, says Mexican Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval.
In response, cartel members set up 19 roadblocks and blocked all entrances to the city of Culiacán. Roadblocks were also set up at the airport and the local army base. Guzmán could still be escorted to Mexico City with the help of the air force, the defense minister says.
Fighting between cartel members and security forces continued throughout the afternoon.
Released by the President
Ovidio Guzmán was also arrested by the authorities three years ago. That attempt set off a wave of violence in Culiacán, which ultimately led to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordering the military to release him.
According to Defense Minister Sandoval, Guzmán is the leader of a Sinaloa faction he called “los menores” or “the juniors.” The faction is also known as “los Chapitos” for El Chapo’s sons.
Ovidio Guzmán is wanted by the US for drug trafficking and the arrest comes just days before US President Joe Biden visits Mexico