Key Cartel Leader's Arrest Spurs Chaos and Violence in Culiacán, Mexico
Ovidio Guzmán López “ El Raton '', a head figure in Los Chapitos faction of The Sinaloa Cartel, Leader of Los Menores Faction in the Pacific Cartel, and son of former Cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán “El Chapo” had been recaptured in an operation headed by Mexico’s National Guard in Culiacán, Sinaloa. On January 5th, 2023. The operation, which had been six months in planning, occurred with the joint effort of the Mexican Guard and SEDENA took place in Jesús María, Culiacán, which according to SEDENA, was the area where Ovidio had been residing.
The operation reportedly took place around 4:30 in the morning. Ovidio and his group were identified through their use of armored vehicles, which carried “characteristics of belonging to a criminal organization” according to Luis Crescencio Sandoval, head of the Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA). Upon reaching the vehicles, the task force formed a perimeter to encircle the group for an arrest but was fired upon. As a result, nine SEDENA members were killed and seven injured. A helicopter flown by security forces was also fired upon by cartel gunmen armed with 50. caliber rifles, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.