Mexican Cartel Strategic Note No. 35: Mexican Security Forces Arrest Ovidio Guzmán
Daniel Weisz Argomedo, John P. Sullivan, and Robert J. Bunker
On Thursday, 5 January 2023, Mexican security forces arrested Ovidio Guzmán López, a key member of the Los Chapitos faction of the Cártel del Pacífico, commonly known as the Cártel de Sinaloa (Sinaloa Cartel or CDS), in the Jesús María district of Culiacán, Sinaloa. He is also known by the moniker “El Raton” (The Mouse) and has a heavily armed bodyguard unit protecting him called Las Fuerzas Especiales Ratón(Mouse’s Special Forces). Guzmán’s arrest triggered a cartel counterattack and widespread violence throughout Culiacán and throughout parts of Sinaloa and neighboring Sonora where the cartel has a presence. Guzmán was transported to Altiplano prison (Centro Federal de Readaptación Social Número 1) in Mexico City pending prosecution.
Battle of Culiacán 2023, Mix Videos Divertidos, 6 January 2023 (CC BY 3.0)
General Luis Cresencio Sandoval González, Mexico’s Secretary of Defense, provided detailed information about the capture of Ovidio Guzmán López (son of El Chapo, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera) in Culiacán, Sinaloa. He reported that in the early hours of 5 January 2023, a patrol car of the Guardia Nacional (GN or National Guard) found six bulletproof pickup trucks in the town of Jesùs María. The members of the cartel refused to exit their vehicles for investigation by the GN and began to shoot at the security forces, which led to the use of a Black Hawk helicopter to neutralize the cartel members.
Casualties reported subsequent to that intervention included ten soldiers and 19 presumed criminals killed, as well as 35 injured people and 21 arrested. As Ovidio was arrested, the cartel created at least 19 blockades and attacked the international airport and the military airbase number 10. According to General Sandoval, once Ovidio was captured, he was transported to Mexico City via an army plane, where he will await his trial and possible extradition. This is the second time Ovidio Guzmán has been arrested. In October 2019 Mexican security forces were forced to release him as cartel members took over Culiacán.
Key Information: Pablo Ferri, “La captura de Ovidio Guzmán: seis meses de espera, una estrategia medida y una batalla entre dos ejércitos.” El Pais. 6January 2023, https://elpais.com/mexico/2023-01-06/la-captura-de-ovidio-guzman-seis-meses-de-espera-una-estrategia-medida-y-una-batalla-entre-dos-ejercitos.html:
En esta ocasión, además de esperar a ubicar al criminal lejos de la ciudad, de madrugada, los militares estaban en alerta máxima. “Tomando como experiencia el 17 de octubre de 2019, reforzamos la seguridad en instalaciones militares”, ha dicho el general Sandoval, “intensificamos el adiestramiento, previmos fuerzas de reacción, terrestres y aéreas, con el objeto de cumplir con la misión principal”. Con tal preparación, el avistamiento de seis camionetas sospechosas en una zona habitual de tránsito de Los Chapitos, lejos de la ciudad, marcó el inicio del operativo.
“Desde hace seis meses se detectaron áreas donde Ovidio realizaba actividades ilícitas, relacionadas con el tráfico de metanfetamina y fentanilo”, ha dicho Sandoval. Este jueves, una patrulla de la Guardia Nacional dio el alto a las seis camionetas en el poblado Jesús María, a 45 kilómetros de Culiacán, según el general. Sus ocupantes respondieron a balazos y huyeron. La Guardia, dependiente de la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional, pidió apoyó al Ejército, que puso en marcha “el plan de contingencia y el procedimiento de seguridad”. Sandoval no ha dicho si sabían, o al menos intuían, que Guzmán estaba en las camionetas.
Key Information: Baruc Mayen, “Aeronaves, lanzagranadas y ametralladoras: el arsenal de Los Chapitos y las FFAA durante la captura de Ovidio Guzmán.” Infobae. 9 January 2023, https://www.infobae.com/america/mexico/2023/01/09/aeronaves-lanzagranadas-y-ametralladoras-el-arsenal-de-los-chapitos-y-las-ffaa-durante-la-captura-de-ovidio-guzman/:
Un helicóptero UH-60 Black Hawk artillado con una mortíferaVulcan M134 Minigun, que puede disparar hasta 850 balas por segundo, fue sólo la primera muestra del arsenal que presumieron aquel día las Fuerzas Armadas (FFAA) durante el operativo para recapturar a Ovidio Guzmán López, El Ratón, hijo de Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán.
Con aviones Beechcraft T-6 Texan II, aparentemente artillados, la corporación sobrevoló la zona de Culiacán y atacó a múltiples objetivos terrestres.
Con la intención de evitar el aseguramiento y traslado de Ovidio Guzmán a la Ciudad de México, sicarios del grupo criminal utilizaron su artillería para enfrentar no sólo al personal de Infantería, sino a las unidades militares terrestres y aéreas. Uno de los videos que más se popularizó durante el “segundo Culiacanazo” fue el de un sicario apuntando y disparando contra un avión de la Fuerza Aérea con un fusil Barret M82A1 antimaterial calibre .50.
Una de las imágenes que mejor exhibió la brutalidad de los combates fue la de un vehículo de la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional (Sedena), matrícula 5734572, que quedó completamente devastado a pesar de su blindaje. La unidad del Ejército, que podría ser un SandCat o un DGIM DN-XI, fue visiblemente atacada por proyectiles de alto poder. Fuentes especializadas en arsenal militar consideraron que, para causar tal daño al vehículo, Los Chapitos tendrían que haber utilizado armas como RPG 7 (un lanzacohetes antitanques portátil) y rematar al automotor con granadas de 40 mm, que son de uso militar.
Por otro lado, algunas de las 26 camionetas blindadas que conformaban el anillo de seguridad del Ratón habían sido modificadas para colocar potentes ametralladoras como torretas en la parte posterior. Armas automáticas como una Browning M2 calibre .50 y una FN M240 formaban parte de la artillería con la que Los Chapitos pretendían cuidar las espaldas del tristemente célebre hijo del Chapo que saltó a la fama tras el “Culiacanazo” de octubre de 2019. Finalmente, los comandos armados mostraron su abastecimiento de lanzagranadas como el Colt M203.
Key Information: Natalie Kitroeff and Steve Fisher, “El Chapo’s Son Is Captured by Mexican Authorities for 2nd Time.” New York Times. 5 January 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/es/2023/01/05/espanol/ovidio-guzman-chapo-detenido.html:
Security forces arrested Ovidio Guzmán López, a son of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, the infamous crime lord known as El Chapo, and transferred him to a special prosecutor’s office in Mexico City, the Mexican secretary of defense said in a news conference.
The capture of El Chapo’s son, himself a prominent cartel leader, allows the government to claim a victory in its halting efforts to combat violence during one of the deadliest periods in Mexico’s recent history.
“It is a message to the United States that Mexico continues the war against drugs,” said Alejandro Hope, a security analyst in Mexico City. “Does it change the structure of the Sinaloa cartel? No. Will it have an impact on drug trafficking? No. Will it reduce violence? No.”
The cartel reacted swiftly and violently to the arrest. Videos shared on social media showed buses and tractor-trailers aflame. Shots were reported near the Culiacán airport, which announced on Twitter that it had shut down operations for security reasons.
Armed groups lit vehicles on fire and blocked all the major roads out of Culiacán, according to a local intelligence officer. Gunmen fought law enforcement in the north of the city, where loud explosions could be heard and armed groups were stealing cars at gunpoint, the official said. Schools and government buildings were closed.
Key Information: Manuel Aceves, “Ejército despliega operativo en Culiacán tras captura de Ovidio Guzmán, hijo de ‘El Chapo’.” Milenio. 8 January 2023, https://www.milenio.com/policia/tas-captura-ovidio-guzman-ejercito-despliega-operativo-culiacan:
El Ejército desplegó un operativo en Culiacán, Sinaloa tras la captura de Ovidio Guzmán, El Ratón, hijo del narcotraficante Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán. En la colonia Miguel Hidalgo se muestra la presencia de vehículos artillados y helicópteros sobrevolando la zona.
En redes sociales se circuló la versión que había sido capturado Néstor Isidro Pérez, El Nini, máximo jefe de seguridad de Los Chapitos, como se conoce a los hijos de Joaquín Guzmán Loera, pero ello fue descartado por el secretario de Seguridad Pública del estado, Cristóbal Castañeda Camarillo.
Key Information: “Así fue la captura de Ovidio Guzmán, según el gobierno mexicano.” El Universo. 5 January 2023, https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/internacional/asi-fue-la-captura-de-ovidio-guzman-segun-el-gobierno-mexicano-nota/:
Las clases y las actividades en el sector público se suspendieron en Sinaloa, en cuya capital, Culiacán, se produjo el arresto de Ovidio. No hay paso en algunas carreteras e incluso aeropuertos han debido ser cerrados, debido a los ataques de hombres armados, presuntamente de Los Chapitos o Los Menores.
Estados Unidos ofrecía cinco millones de dólares por su captura. Según las autoridades estadounidenses, Ovidio es responsable de laboratorios que producen mensualmente entre 1.360 y 2.200 kilogramos de metanfetaminas.
Key Information: César M. Gutiérrez Priego, “El operativo para detener a Ovidio Guzmán.” La Silla Rota. 9 January 2023, https://lasillarota.com/opinion/columnas/2023/1/9/el-operativo-para-detener-ovidio-guzman-409101.html:
Un grupo de 12 elementos militares de Fuerzas Especiales se introdujo en el rancho de Ovidio Guzmán y lo detuvo en su dormitorio, burlando todos los puntos de vigilancia que tienen alrededor del estado, de la ciudad y de la población de Jesús María, que además colinda con el municipio de Badiraguato y la presa Humaya, conocidas zonas de control del Cártel del Pacifico (Cártel de Sinaloa). A sabiendas de que estarían en desventaja numérica y de armamento, se inició el operativo alrededor de las 3:35 de la madrugada del 5 de enero. Tardaron cerca de cuarenta minutos en llegar al lugar en total sigilo y sin ser alertados ninguno de los puntos de vigilancia del Cártel y de toda la red de halcones desplegados, incluso los oficiales o policiacos. El operativo llegó hasta el mismo dormitorio del objetivo a capturar, se inició una refriega, misma que fue contenida por los elementos militares contra alrededor de 60 civiles armados que eran quienes se encargaban de la protección y seguridad del objetivo.
La segunda parte del operativo fue contener la reacción del grupo criminal ante la incertidumbre a dónde había sido trasladado el objetivo, ya que se sabía de la capacidad del grupo criminal y de las tácticas que utilizan para generar caos y distractores a las autoridades y la población civil. Se utilizaron incluso videos y mensajes por redes sociales para crear desconcierto y desinformación, volviendo todo un caos para generar terror, ya que su objetivo era despejar las calles para poder ver con claridad los movimientos que se dan en la ciudad y las diferentes rutas que pudo haber tomado el convoy de traslado del objetivo. Sin embargo, para ese momento, Ovidio Guzmán López ya estaba siendo trasladado…
… Pero ¿quien es Ovidio Guzmán López alias “el Ratón” o “el gato negro”? Es hijo de Joaquín Guzmán Loera conocido como líder del Cártel del Pacifico (Sinaloa), mismo que se encuentra divido en tres grupos de líderes comandado por Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, el segundo grupo es liderado por Aureleano Guzmán Loera alias “El Guapo” hermano de Joaquín Guzmán, y el tercer grupo es liderado por los hijos de Joaquín Guzmán Loera conocidos como “Los Chapitos” quienes son liderados por el hermano mayor Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, que han revolucionado la forma de traficar drogas. Estos últimos se han enfocado en el tráfico de drogas como el fentanilo, que por sus características es mucho más potente y peligroso que las drogas tradicionales antes conocidas; además deja ganancias mucho más grandes que las relacionadas a la cocaína y heroína.
The high-caliber weapons utilized by the bodyguards of Ovidio Guzmán—Las Fuerzas Especiales Ratón—highlight the infantry small arms that have been obtained by the Cártel de Sinaloa. In addition to the ability to lay down suppressing fires and disrupting commercial airliner activities at Culiacan International Airport this specialized company-size unit (containing approximately 26 improvised armored fighting vehicles; IAFVs) was able to successfully take down a helicopter of the Mexican armed forces. The capture of Ovidio also showed the tactical capability of the criminal organization as they ambushed and killed colonel Juan José Moreno Orzúa during the capture. The manpower and firepower that the Sinaloa cartel continues to be a strategic problem for Mexican armed forces that encounter heavier resistance than expected in operations conducted within Sinaloa.
Las Fuerzas Especiales Ratón Sicario
Cártel de Sinaloa (CDS) Social Media (May 2022)
Security expert Alejandro Hope noted the operation’s success within Sinaloa despite the abovementioned problems. Hope expresses how the security forces learned from their mistakes in the first failed arrest of Ovidio in October 2019 as they arrested Ovidio early in the morning and outside of the capital. Hope also notes the lack of federal and state security forces that remained unseen, as was the case during Ovidio’s first failed capture. The capture has been recognized as important due to Ovidio’s role as one of the leaders of the Sinaloa cartel and because the US Department of Justice accuses him of conspiring to distribute drugs to be imported into the United States.
The official government version of the capture describes a six-month investigation process but recounts the capture as being a matter of luck after investigating some suspicious pickup trucks. Hope notes that the possible reason for these discrepancies is that the investigation that led to Ovidio's capture may not have followed the legal, judicial process. Hope does point out the importance of the capture for the current government, which has been accused of having a security pact with the Sinaloa cartel. The issue now is that Ovidio Guzmán does not have a competent judicial investigation against him by Mexican authorities, and no new order arrest warrant was issued for him other than the one created by the United States before his first failed capture. The public sentiment in Mexico is that the lack of judicial investigations will only be able to keep Ovidio behind bars for a few months, leaving Mexico with little choice but to extradite him to the US so that the American judicial system can take over the case.
The government presented the arrest of Ovidio as a strike against the Sinaloa cartel’s power structures, which they call the Cártel del Pacífico. The problem with this statement is that it ignores the prevailing problems associated with a strategy that seeks to target cartel leaders. As David Saucedo, an expert in public security, explains how the capture of these leaders does not lead to dismantling the structure of organized crime and that the dynamics of drug trafficking have become independent from the capture of their leaders. According to Hope, “the arrest of a capo, regardless of how flashy it may appear, does not fundamentally alter the pattern of drug trafficking” and if the capture of their father didn’t destroy their drug empire, the arrest of Ovidio will be unlikely to have long-lasting effects on the cartel.
Should the government continue to apply the same strategy of past administrations, mainly targeting cartel leaders (via the kingpin strategy), we can expect similar consequences to those of the past. These consequences include the further fragmentation of criminal cartels/drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and the diversification of their illicit businesses. Such effects, however, are not stemming the illicit flows of narcotics into the United States and in fact are actively metastasizing the ‘narco cancer’ within Mexico into new sectors of the economy. Additionally, those criminal groups engaging in narcotics trafficking, albeit splintering, are still greatly profiting while at the same time increased narco fractionalization readily results in domestic violence levels to greatly increase.
Manuel Aceves, “Ejército despliega operativo en Culiacán tras captura de Ovidio Guzmán, hijo de ‘El Chapo’.” Milenio. 8 January 2023, https://www.milenio.com/policia/tas-captura-ovidio-guzman-ejercito-despliega-operativo-culiacan.
“Así fue la captura de Ovidio Guzmán, según el gobierno mexicano.” El Universo. 5 January 2023, https://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/internacional/asi-fue-la-captura-de-ovidio-guzman-segun-el-gobierno-mexicano-nota/.
Pablo Ferri, “La captura de Ovidio Guzmán: seis meses de espera, una estrategia medida y una batalla entre dos ejércitos.” El Pais. 6January 2023, https://elpais.com/mexico/2023-01-06/la-captura-de-ovidio-guzman-seis-meses-de-espera-una-estrategia-medida-y-una-batalla-entre-dos-ejercitos.html.
César M. Gutiérrez Priego, “El operativo para detener a Ovidio Guzmán.” La Silla Rota. 9 January 2023, https://lasillarota.com/opinion/columnas/2023/1/9/el-operativo-para-detener-ovidio-guzman-409101.html.
Natalie Kitroeff and Steve Fisher, “Ovidio Guzmán, hijo del Chapo, es capturado por segunda vez por las autoridades de México.” New York Times. 5 January 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/es/2023/01/05/espanol/ovidio-guzman-chapo-detenido.html.
Baruc Mayen, “Aeronaves, lanzagranadas y ametralladoras: el arsenal de Los Chapitos y las FFAA durante la captura de Ovidio Guzmán” Infobae. 9 January 2023, https://www.infobae.com/america/mexico/2023/01/09/aeronaves-lanzagranadas-y-ametralladoras-el-arsenal-de-los-chapitos-y-las-ffaa-durante-la-captura-de-ovidio-guzman/.
 “Los detalles de la captura de Ovidio Guzmán: 29 muertos, un black hawk y armas de alto poder.” Infobae. 6 January 2023, https://www.infobae.com/america/mexico/2023/01/06/los-detalles-de-la-captura-de-ovidio-guzman-9-militares-muertos-un-black-hawk-y-armas-de-alto-poder/.
2] Ibid. In addition, The Voice of America reported that cartel gunmen opened fire on security forces with a half-dozen .50 caliber machine guns. The Mexican Army Black Hawk (UH-60) opened fire against a 5 vehicle cartel convoy that included “truck-mounted cartel gun platforms” or artisanal armored vehicles. The cartel also attacked the cartel also attacked military and civil aircraft at Culiacán International Airport. “30 Killed in Violence Surrounding Arrest of ‘Chapo’ Son.” Voice of America. 6 January 2023, https://www.voanews.com/a/killed-in-violence-surrounding-arrest-of-chapo-son-/6908224.html.
 “Ovidio Guzmán López: qué se sabe del operativo para capturar al hijo del Chapo que dejó 29 muertos en Culiacán.” BBC. 6 January 2023, https://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias-america-latina-64182714.
 Op. cit. at Note 1.
 The first arrest of Ovidio Guzmán, known as “The Battle of Culiacán,” Culiacanazo, or Black Thursday, occurred on 17 October 2019 when a large element of Mexican security forces, from both the army and GN captured Ovidio provoked a concerted counterattack by components of the Cártel de Sinaloa (CDS) or Sinaloa Cartel, including an enforcer cell known as Los Chapitos. Up to 700 cartel sicarios (gunmen) reportedly engaged the security forces. The cartel commandos deployed narcobloqueos (blockades of burning vehicles), artisanal armored vehicles, .50 caliber rifles, and other weapons. Ultimately Ovidio was released. This release was controversial, however, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador defended it since it avoided additional casualties among the community. See Philip Luke Johnson, “Revisiting the Battle of Culiacán.” NACLA. 22 November 2019, https://nacla.org/news/2019/11/22/culiacan-chapo-mexico-drug-violence; ‘Weapons used by Sinaloa Cartel sicarios in Culiacán, Mexico.” ARES (Armament Research Services). 18 October 2019, https://armamentresearch.com/weapons-used-by-cartel-sicarios-in-culiacan-mexico/. For a comprehensive assessment of the first Culiacán incident, see Michael Lettieri, Cecilia Farfán-Méndez, and Philip Johnson, Eds., The Battles After the Battle: Interpreting Violence and Memory in Culiacán. San Diego: Mexico Violence Resource Project. 14 October 2020, https://www.mexicoviolence.org/_files/ugd/9518d6_389cc5c9a0074435a9d32907eb2dd000.pdf.
 In English, the title reads: “The capture of Ovidio Guzmán: six months of wait, a measured strategy and a battle between two armies.” The text reads: “On this occasion, in addition to waiting to locate the criminal far from the city, at dawn, the military was on high alert. ‘Based on what happened October 17, 2019, we reinforced security at military installations,’ General Sandoval said, ‘we intensified training, and we provided ground and air reaction forces to fulfil the main mission.’ With such preparation, the sighting of six suspicious trucks in a common transit area of Los Chapitos, far from the city, marked the beginning of the operation. ‘Six months ago, areas were detected where Ovidio carried out illegal activities related to methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking,’ Sandoval said. This Thursday, a National Guard patrol stopped the six trucks in the town of Jesús María, 45 kilometres from Culiacán, according to the general. Its occupants responded with bullets and fled. The Guard, dependent on the Ministry of National Defense, asked for support from the Army, which launched ‘the contingency plan and the security procedure.’ Sandoval has not said if they knew, or at least believed, that Guzmán was in the trucks.”
]8] In English, the title reads: “Airplanes, grenade launchers and machineguns arsenal of Los Chapitos and the armed forces during the capture of Ovidio Guzmán.” The text reads: “A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter armed with a deadly Vulcan M134 Minigun, which can fire up to 850 bullets per second, was just the first sample of the arsenal that the Armed Forces (FFAA) showed off that day during the operation to recapture Ovidio Guzmán López, El Ratón, son of Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán. [...] With Beechcraft T-6 Texan II aircraft, apparently armed, the corporation flew over the Culiacán area and attacked multiple ground targets. [...] Intending to prevent the seizure and transfer of Ovidio Guzmán to Mexico City, hitmen from the criminal group used their artillery to confront not only the Infantry personnel but also the ground and air military units. One of the most popular videos during the ‘second Culiacanazo’ was that of a hit man aiming and shooting at an Air Force plane with a .50 caliber Barret M82A1 anti-material rifle. One of the images that best displayed the brutality of the fighting was that of a vehicle from the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena), license plate 5734572, which was completely devastated despite its armour. The Army unit, which could be a SandCat or a DGIM DN-XI, was visibly attacked by high-powered projectiles. Sources specialized in military arsenal considered that to cause such damage to the vehicle, Los Chapitos would have had to use weapons such as RPG 7 (a portable anti-tank rocket launcher) and finish off the car with 40mm grenades, which are for military use. On the other hand, some 26 armoured trucks that made up the Mouse’s security ring had been modified to place powerful machine guns as turrets on the back. Automatic weapons such as a .50 caliber Browning M2 and an FN M240 were part of the artillery with which Los Chapitos intended to guard the back of the infamous son of el Chapo who rose to fame after the ‘Culiacanazo’ of October 2019. Finally, the armed commandos showed their supply of grenade launchers, such as the Colt M203.”
 In English, the title reads: “The army deploys an operation in Culiacán after the capture of Ovidio Guzman, son of El Chapo.” The text reads: “The Army deployed an operation in Culiacán, Sinaloa, after the capture of Ovidio Guzmán, known as ‘El Ratón,’ son of drug trafficker Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán. In the Miguel Hidalgo neighbourhood, armed vehicles and helicopters have been reported flying over the area. […] The news that Néstor Isidro Pérez ‘El Nini’ who is the top security chief of Los Chapitos, was arrested is known and was circulated on social networks, but this was ruled out by the State Secretary of Public Security, Cristobal Castañeda Camarillo.”
 In English, the title reads: “This is how the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán happened, according to the Mexican government.” The text reads: “Classes and activities in the public sector were suspended in Sinaloa, in whose capital, Culiacán, Ovidio was arrested. There is no passage on some highways, and even airports have had to be closed due to attacks by armed men, presumably from Los Chapitos or Los Menores. […] The United States offered five million dollars for his capture. According to US authorities, Ovidio is responsible for laboratories that produce between 1,360 and 2,200 kilograms of methamphetamine each month.”
 In English, the title reads: “The operation to arrest Ovidio Guzmán.” The text reads: “A group of 12 military elements from Special Forces entered Ovidio Guzmán’s ranch and arrested him in his bedroom, bypassing all the surveillance points they have around the state, the city and the town of Jesús María, which also borders the municipality of Badiraguato and the Humaya dam, known areas of control of the Pacific Cartel (Sinaloa Cartel). Knowing that they would be outnumbered and outgunned, the operation began around 3:35 a.m. on 5 January. It took them about forty minutes to reach the place in total secrecy and without being alerted of any of the cartel’s surveillance points and the entire network of hawks deployed, including official or police ones. The operation reached the very bedroom of the target to be captured, a scuffle began, which was contained by the military elements against about 60 armed civilians who were in charge of the protection and security of the target. […] The second part of the operation was to contain the criminal group’s reaction to the uncertainty of where the target had been moved to, since it was known of the criminal group's capacity and the tactics they use to generate chaos and distract the authorities and the civilian population. They even used videos and messages on social networks to create confusion and disinformation, turning everything into chaos to generate terror, since their objective was to clear the streets to be able to clearly see the movements in the city and the different routes that the convoy could have taken to move the target. However, by that time, Ovidio Guzmán López was already being transferred. […] But who is Ovidio Guzmán López, alias ‘el Ratón’ or ‘el gato negro’? He is the son of Joaquin Guzman Loera known as the leader of the Pacific Cartel (Sinaloa), which is divided into three groups of leaders commanded by Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, the second group is led by Aureleano Guzmán Loera alias ‘El Guapo’ brother of Joaquin Guzman, and the third group is led by Joaquín Guzmán Loera’s sons known as ‘Los Chapitos’ who are led by older brother Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, who have revolutionized the way drugs are trafficked. The latter have focused on trafficking drugs such as fentanyl, which due to its characteristics is much more potent and dangerous than the traditional drugs previously known; it also leaves much larger profits than those related to cocaine and heroin.”
 Op. cit. at Note 1.
 Op. cit. at Note 1.
 Alejandro Hope, “La captura de Ovidio Guzmán: el día después.” El Universal. 6 January 2023, https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/opinion/alejandro-hope/la-captura-de-ovidio-guzman-el-dia-despues.
 “Ovidio Guzmán López: quién es el hijo de ‘El Chapo’ detenido al que acusan de liderar el cártel de Sinaloa.” Animal Político. 5 of January 2023, https://www.animalpolitico.com/bbc/ovidio-guzman-lopez-chapo-detenido-cartel-sinaloa/.
 Op. cit. Alejandro Hope at Note 12.
 “Nadie ha construido una investigación judicial: el dardo de Alejandro Hope a la detención de Ovidio.” Infobae. 9 January 2023, https://www.infobae.com/america/mexico/2023/01/09/nadie-ha-construido-una-investigacion-judicial-el-dardo-de-alejandro-hope-a-la-detencion-de-ovidio/.
 Alfredo Maza, “Pese a detención de Ovidio Guzmán, el Cártel de Sinaloa mantiene su fuerza.” Animal Político. 6 January 2023, https://www.animalpolitico.com/2023/01/pese-detencion-ovidio-cartel-sinaloa-mantiene/.
 Op.cit., Alejandro Hope at Note 12.
 For a discussion of cartel fragmentation, see Vanda Felbab-Brown, “The successes and problems of high-value targeting strategies around the world.” Brookings. 19 October 2022, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2022/10/19/the-successes-and-problems-of-high-value-targeting-strategies-around-the-world/. An early discussion of cartel fragmentation is found in John P. Sullivan and Adam Elkus, “Cartel v. Cartel: Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency.” Small Wars Journal. 1 February 2010, https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/cartel-v-cartel-mexicos-criminal-insurgency. For a related analysis of often shifting cartel alliances, see Nathan P. Jones, Irina A. Chindea, Daniel Weisz Argomedo, and John P. Sullivan, “A Social Network Analysis of Mexico’s Dark Network Alliance Structure.” Journal of Strategic Security. Vol, 15, no. 4. 2022: pp.76–105, https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol15/iss4/5.
 A detailed listing of the various cartel rivalries between the Los Chapitos faction of the Sinaloa Cartel (CDS or Cártel del Pacifíco) is found in “Cuáles son las organizaciones criminales que mantienen disputas con Los Chapitos y el Cártel de Sinaloa [Which criminal organizations are in dispute with Los Chapitos and the Sinaloa Cartel?].” Infobae. 7 January 2023, https://www.infobae.com/america/mexico/2023/01/07/cuales-son-las-organizaciones-criminales-que-mantienen-disputas-con-los-chapitos-y-el-cartel-de-sinaloa/.
 For increasing violence levels in Mexico see, Nathaniel Parish Flannery, “Mexico’s President Does Not Know How To Fight Crime.” Forbes. 29 September 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanielparishflannery/2022/09/29/mexicos-president-does-not-know-how-to-fight-crime/?sh=1572a40772c6 and Jorge G. Castañeda, “AMLO’s False Promises.” Project Syndicate. 20 December 2022, https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/mexico-president-amlo-broken-promises-by-jorge-g-castaneda-2022-12.
Keywords: Cártel del Pacífico, Cártel de Sinaloa (CDS), Cartel Tactics, Los Chapitos, Criminal Insurgency, Crime Wars, Culiacán, Ovidio Guzman López, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs)
Robert J. Bunker and John P. Sullivan, Eds. Illicit Tactical Progress: Mexican Cartel tactical Notes 2013-2020. Bloomington: Xlibris, 2021.
Chris Dalby, “How Mexico’s Cartels Have Learned Military Tactics.” InSight Crime, 2 September 2021.
Nathan P. Jones, Irina A. Chindea, Daniel Weisz Argomedo, and John P. Sullivan, “A Social Network Analysis of Mexico’s Dark Network Alliance Structure.” Journal of Strategic Security. Vol, 15, no. 4. 2022: pp.76–105.
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