Ovidio Guzmán, the kid who always wanted to become a narco

Least 11) were involved in the shootout and street blockades in Culiacán, the capital of the Mexican state of Sinaloa, on January 5. The entire country was stunned by the mayhem, with the military personnel, including 10 people, trying to arrest Ovidio Guzmán López, the leader of “Los Chapos,” a faction of the Pacific Cartel. The shootouts and burning vehicles resulted in the death of 29 people. Ovidio, who was arrested with his second wife Griselda, is known as the son of El Chapo, the notorious leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. It can only be said that he is truly following in his father’s footsteps.

There are four children of Guzmán who are looking out for the most-wanted drug traffickers on the State Department’s list in the US. It is not certain whether he has children between the ages of 23 and 10, but he has acknowledged on several occasions. One cannot be sure how many children El Chapo has, as he is currently serving a life sentence in the United States.

The factions connected to “El Ismael Zambada Mayo,” the last of the Sinaloa Cartel’s old guard, are not clear. It is also not clear if they are all lumped under the umbrella of the Pacific Cartel or the Sinaloa Cartel. While Ovidio and Joaquín, two of his sons, belong to different factions, the same may not be true for Alfredo Jesus and Archivaldo Ivan, who are the sons of Guzmán’s first wife Alejandrina.

Benjamin Smith, the author of the colossal account of Mexican drug trafficking titled The Dope: The Authentic History of the Mexican Drug Trade (2021), expressed, “Drug trafficking in Sinaloa has perpetually been a matter of kinship.” Smith highlighted Miguel Angel Félix Gallardo and Rafael Caro Quintero, two drug lords hailing from Sinaloa who established Guadalajara as their operational hub four decades ago, stating, “The Guadalajara Cartel comprised numerous descendants and offspring of those involved in opium trafficking during the 1940s.”

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Ovidio’s family ties extend beyond his father and brothers. Local press reports have romantically linked him to Adriana Meza, the daughter of Raúl Meza, a now-deceased crony of the old Sinaloa Cartel timers. Scholars and genealogists have publicized the face and name of this “buchona,” a slang word for the wife of a Sinaloan drug trafficker.

Smith stated, “We are uncertain about the true size of Ovidio.” “The source of that estimation is unknown to me, but according to the State Department, he produces over 3,000 kilos of methamphetamine every month. There are numerous unanswered queries regarding the involvement of Los Chapitos and Ovidio in the drug trade in Sinaloa. Additionally, he suggests, “however, it is difficult to say, his apprehension might benefit the Americans.” On January 8, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, arrived in Mexico City to participate in the North American Leaders’ Summit, and many Mexicans anticipate that Ovidio’s arrest will undoubtedly be a subject of discussion between the two governments.

fotografía del 17 de octubre de 2019, Ovidio Guzmán, al momento de su anterior detención en Culiacán (Sinaloa).
The moment of Ovidio Guzmán’s arrest, from a still image of a video provided by the Mexican government.Cepropie (AP)

Dubbed “El Ratón” (or mouse), Ovidio Guzmán grew up there during the final years of the PRI political party’s dominance, and the initial few years of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It’s an affluent residential area in Mexico City, housing some of the nation’s wealthiest families. He was born in 1990 in Culiacán, and according to a recent report by Mexico’s Reforma newspaper, Ovidio was raised in the capital city’s Jardines del Pedregal neighborhood. Those were times when life in Mexico was transforming forever. He is the youngest of the four siblings on the State Department list.

It would not be shocking if El Chapo escaped from a maximum security prison in 2001, considering his unprecedented escape as a pre-adolescent to return to Culiacán around the same time his father did. Despite his privileged education, there was no career as an engineer or lawyer for Ovidio, as he went to a school run by the Roman Catholic Legion of Christ every day by taxi. While his father was in prison, Ovidio was a little boy. Serving his first 20-year prison sentence for the murder of Jesús Cardinal Posadas in 1993, he was linked to the crimes.

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The Sinaloa family’s strong ties were dominant in the past. Edgar, his older brother, was killed in a Culiacán supermarket in 2008, when El Ratón, an intelligent 18-year-old narco, took over the family business, as stated by US authorities. Joaquín and Ovidio started spending large amounts of money to purchase cocaine in Colombia and marijuana in Mexico, as well as importing ephedrine from Argentina to produce methamphetamine, according to the “Department State file.”

An extravagant way of living

Kids were being let out of schools amidst roaming groups of armed men just as Los Chapitos started setting fire to vehicles, obstructing streets and highways. The endeavor was unsuccessful when a specialized Mexican Army group attempted to apprehend Ovidio at his residence in downtown Culiacán, not too distant from where his sibling Edgar was murdered 11 years prior on October 17, 2019. The violent reprisal in Culiacán following Ovidio’s detention marked the second occurrence in the past three years that Los Chapitos devastated the city.

Until this point in time, Ovidio had been a man who was not imprisoned and he set free Obrador López Manuel Andrés President in a violent manner, causing chaos. However, they did not stop, but instead surrendered. I heard everything, and I saw Ovidio being apprehended by soldiers in front of his own door. In his hand was a telephone, which contained a video of Guzmán Ovidio. From that day on, there were many implausible images, among them the strange situations that can be described as real in Mexico. One of the newly coined words to describe this situation is “culiacanazo,” which refers to the explosion that occurred in Culiacán, marking the beginning of it.

They attempted to shoot down military aircraft. The gang, led by Joaquín and his brother Ovidio, openly confronted the military using high-powered weapons. Ovidio has never maintained a low profile and has always faced off against military forces. After his second prison escape, he lived in a seedy beach motel, while always staying on the run. He escaped again through a tunnel under a bathtub, fearing arrest. When he was first arrested, he fled to Guatemala. There is a marked difference in the lives led by the son and the father.

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“Expressed Alejandro Hope, a security expert from Mexico and a former official in government intelligence, ‘This marks the inaugural cohort of Sinaloa drug traffickers who were born into affluence.’ ‘To put it differently, he willingly entered the narcotics business. Unlike his parents, financial struggle did not push him into this path,’ stated Alejandro Hope. ‘He had the option to pursue a career as an engineer, architect, or any other profession, but he opted against it,’ added Alejandro Hope. ‘I mean, Ovidio resided in El Pedregal.'”

He said, “They get financial gain beyond all this from satisfaction.” Narcos glorify it as part of songs and culture, as part of a legend. It comes from being a part of it. Hope believes that the confrontational posture of Los Chapitos rewards psychological impunity and violence.

Smith remarked, “We often overlook the extent to which these armed individuals enjoy consuming drugs.” Observing that numerous of the marauding Chapitos appeared relatively youthful, he expressed, “I am uncertain – I do not wish to underestimate the anxiety felt by the residents of Sinaloa, but it appears to me that their impact was not significant.” He clarified, “They are not a paramilitary organization that presents a fundamental danger to the nation. Benjamin Smith asserts that the aggressive reaction from Los Chapitos towards Ovidio’s apprehension is more of a “display” or a form of theatrical presentation.”

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