The US Attorney General has announced the extradition of Ovidio Guzmán lópez , a son of the notorious drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, to the United States to face drug trafficking charges. Ovidio is suspected of co-leading the influential Sinaloa drug cartel, which his father established, alongside his brother. Additionally, he stands accused of ordering the murder of a singer who declined to perform at his wedding.
Authorities apprehended Ovidio in January in the northern Mexican state of Sinaloa, and he has stayed in custody since that time. US Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that this extradition marks the latest step in the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts to dismantle all aspects of the cartel’s operations. He acknowledged the extraordinary bravery displayed by both US and Mexican law enforcement and military personnel, many of whom have sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of justice. Garland also expressed gratitude to the Mexican government for its assistance in facilitating Ovidio’s transfer to the US.
The Mexican authorities have not yet issued an immediate response to the extradition. This development closely follows the release of Emma Coronel, the wife of Ovidio’s father, who received a sentence on drug trafficking charges in November 2021. Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán himself is serving a life sentence in a supermax prison in Colorado for his leadership role in the Sinaloa cartel.
Ovidio Guzmán is one of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s four children from his relationship with Griselda López during the 1980s and 90s. Tragically, the oldest of these children, Edgar, was killed in a cartel shootout in 2008. “El Chapo” also has other children from previous marriages and his subsequent relationship with Emma Coronel.
They arrested Ovidio Guzmán-López , also known as “El Ratón” (The Mouse), outside the city of Culiacán after conducting a six-month surveillance operation. The apprehension resulted in a violent confrontation in which twenty-nine people lost their lives. Members of his cartel set fire to buses and cars to block access roads, preventing police reinforcements from reaching the city. Concerns about his hitmen potentially attacking a ground convoy led to Ovidio’s transportation to Mexico City via helicopter.
In June 2020, security forces briefly detained Ovidio, but Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered them to release him “to avoid endangering the population.”During this period, Sinaloa gunmen engaged in battles with law enforcement and set buses ablaze. Subsequently, Ovidio remained in hiding for 18 months before his re-arrest in January 2023.
US law enforcement officials estimate that the Sinaloa cartel, a transnational criminal organization, has smuggled over 1,000 tonnes of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, and heroin into the United States. The cartel’s members have engaged in acts of kidnapping, torture, and murder to consolidate their power. Additionally, they have bribed police officers and high-ranking politicians across Mexico and Central America to either ignore drug shipments or provide advance warning of impending law enforcement operations.