CULIACAN (Mexico): Heavily armed gunmen waged an all-out battle against Mexican security forces Thursday as soldiers arrested — then reportedly released — a son of jailed drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in his home state, Sinaloa.
Mexico’s president faced a firestorm of criticism Friday as his security forces confirmed they arrested kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s son, but then released him.
Admitting his forces carried out a “badly planned” operation, Defense Minister Luis Sandoval said soldiers briefly arrested Ovidio Guzman — one of several sons who have taken control of the Sinaloa cartel since their father was extradited to the United States in 2017 — but released him after being overpowered by cartel gunmen.
“It was a badly planned strategy,” Sandoval told a news conference in Culiacan, the western city of 750,000 people that was turned into an urban war zone Thursday.
“The task force acted too hastily. (The operation) wasn’t improvised, there was planning, but.. it takes time to obtain an arrest warrant. When the operation was already under way, they decided to improvise and try to obtain a positive result,” he said, after flying into the city — the state capital of Sinaloa, the Guzmans’ bastion — for an emergency security cabinet meeting.