Police Release El Chapo's Son After Initial Arrest Following Shootout

Police Release El Chapo's Son After Initial Arrest Following Shootout

Police Release El Chapo's Son After Initial Arrest Following Shootout

Heavily armed fighters surrounded security forces in a Mexican city on Thursday and made them free one of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's sons, after his capture triggered gun battles and a prison break that sent civilians scurrying for cover.

Cartel gunmen are seen outside during clashes with federal forces following the detention of Ovidio Guzman, son of drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, Mexico on October 17, 2019.

"This decision was made to protect citizens".

But suspected members of the Sinaloa cartel soon overpowered them, after which the forces had to retreat to save lives.

Footage of Thursday's chaos on social media showed panicked residents fleeing and high caliber gunfire ringing out across town. Residents have been asked to stay inside and schools have been closed until further notice, officials said, according to ADN40.

Lopez Obrador said security forces had swooped on the house in Culiacan to capture Ovidio Guzman after a judge issued a warrant for his arrest and extradition.

Videos and pictures shared on Twitter showed black plumes rising over the historic city and cartel members overwhelming security forces.

After entering the house, they found four men, including Ovidio Guzman. The access to firepower, artillery, and explosives pushes the criminal organizations beyond mere drug smugglers into factions capable of performing terror tactics like seen in Middle Eastern war zones.

El Chapo then fought other gangs such as the Juarez and Tijuana cartels in the 2000s, a fight that took more than a hundred thousand lives, writes Don Winslow in Esquire magazine.

Durazo said the security cabinet would travel to Culiacan to personally oversee the next steps.

Guzman himself faced several court trials but repeatedly managed to escape justice.

Other media reports said one of Guzman's sons had been killed. He is believed to have a large role in the Sinaloa cartel, according to the US Treasury Department.

But Ovidio Guzman was indicted in 2018 by a grand jury in Washington, along with a fourth brother, for the alleged trafficking of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

Gunmen blocked roads and highways into the evening, bringing the city of 750,000 people to a standstill, AFP journalists said.

Jose Luis Gonzalez Meza, a lawyer for El Chapo's family, told The Associated Press that Guzman's family reported "Ovidio is alive and free" but that he had no more details.

Accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is seen with a handgun on display during a testimony by Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent Victor Vazquez (not shown) in this courtroom sketch in Brooklyn federal court in New York City on January 17, 2019.

After being convicted in a NY court, he is now serving his sentence in the notorious ADX federal maximum security prison in the USA state of Colorado, nicknamed the "Alcatraz of the Rockies".

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