Mexican security forces on Thursday captured drug cartel leader Ovidio Guzman, a son of imprisoned kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, sparking a wave of violence in the town of Culiacan, Sinaloa state, which has gave his name to the cartel.
There were twelve clashes with the security forces, 25 acts of looting.
State Governor Ruben Rocha said seven members of the security forces were killed, including a colonel, and 21 were injured, along with eight civilians.
250 vehicles were set on fire and used to block roads.
Schools were closed for security and the airport was brought to a halt after an Aeromexico plane was hit by gunfire.
Flight AM165 was about to take off for Mexico City when a succession of military planes landed on the airstrip.
Shots were fired very close to the plane, damaging an engine, and passengers were disembarked, with fears the clashes taking place in the street would move into the terminal building.
Mazatlan and LosMochis airports were also closed.
🔴#Mexico City #Sinaloa #CrimenOrganizado|
¿Quién es el próximo a la cabeza del #CartelDeSinaloa?: Tras la capture de #OvidioGuzman, hijo de #ElChapo, estos serían los numbers de interés#DiariodeMexicohttps://t.co/6D6O9zu3a3
— Diario de Mexico (@DDMexico) January 6, 2023
In 2019, Ovidio's arrest ended in the humiliation of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
It had triggered a wave of violence which had forced the executive to release the trafficker to put an end to the reprisals.
Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval confirmed the 32-year-old's capture on Thursday, saying Ovidio was being held in the capital, Mexico City.
"El Raton" ("the Mouse"), who took over from his father El Chapo, detained for life in the United States, was transferred on board an Air Force plane until the capital, where he was heard by the prosecution.
Around 7 p.m. local time (2 a.m. French time), he was transferred by helicopter to the prison of El Altiplano, from where his father had escaped in 2015.
▶️ Ovidio Guzmán fue trasladado en helicopter al penal del Altiplano
Difunden la primera imagen del capo tras su detention
📺 El reporte con @pedrogamboamr pic.twitter.com/KXtEXmmpAu
— Milenio (@Milenio) January 6, 2023
Ovidio Guzman was one of Mexico's most wanted men.
He is accused of leading the "Los Menores" faction, linked to the Pacific Cartel, another name for the Sinaloa Cartel, since his father's arrest.
The United States offered five million dollars for his capture.
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard denied that the arrest was a gesture by his government to Washington, three days before President Joe Biden arrived for an official visit.
Believed to be the main trafficker of Fentanyl
Ovidio Guzman is wanted by US authorities for trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.
The US State Department says he got into the drug trade after his brother Edgar was shot dead in 2008 in Culiacan.
Together with his other brother Joaquin, they then started buying marijuana in Mexico, cocaine in Colombia and ephedrine in Argentina to produce methamphetamine.
According to the American authorities, "El Raton" has control of several clandestine laboratories which produce between 1,360 and 2,200 kilograms of this drug which is wreaking havoc.
The Sinaloa Cartel is considered by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to be the main culprit behind the trafficking of fentanyl, a drug 50 times more potent than heroin, 100 times more potent than morphine, which has caused numerous overdose deaths in the USA.
Other information indicates that Ovidio ordered the assassination of informants, a drug dealer and a famous singer who refused to sing at his wedding.
Another police operation was carried out Thursday in Ciudad Juarez, in northern Mexico, during which the leader of a gang allied with the Juarez cartel in its war against that of Sinaloa was killed.
Ernesto Piñon, alias "El Neto", escaped on Sunday with 24 other prisoners from a city prison during an armed attack on the prison establishment which left 19 dead, including ten guards.