On Tuesday Mexican police arrested one of the lieutenants of the drug baron Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, suspected of leading a bloody war of succession to take the head of the cartel.
The US Treasury Department described Mr. Lopez as a “drug baron” in 2013 for his “significant role in international drug trafficking ” alongside Guzman. The president, Enrique Pena Nieto, congratulated on Twitter the Ministry of Defense “for the arrest of another key objective in the fight against delinquency” .
Wave of violence
In 2001, Lopez, then deputy director of the high security prison in Puente Grande, in the state of Jalisco (west), had helped Guzman, a powerful leader of the Sinaloa cartel, to escape. Since the arrest of Guzman, members of his cartel have been carrying out a bloody war of succession, which has triggered a wave of violence in the state of Sinaloa (western) – “El Chapo” – and Baja California.
Two weeks after Guzman’s extradition, his sons had sent a handwritten letter to the press complaining that they had been ambushed by Damaso Lopez. According to them, Lopez had invited them, as well as the co-founder of the cartel, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, to a meeting on 4 February. But on their arrival, Lopez was absent and armed men tried to shoot them down .
The sons of “El Chapo”
Three of Guzman’s sons – Jesus Alfredo, Ivan and Ovidio – are members of the Sinaloa cartel, according to the US Treasury Department. On 14 April, Guzman’s chief of bodyguards, Francisco Javier Zazueta Rosales, was killed in a clash with soldiers in Sinaloa.
Accused of leading one of the largest drug cartels in the world , Guzman was arrested in 2014 before escaping again in 2015 from a high security prison by a tunnel more than a kilometer dug under his cell . It was finally resumed in January 2016 and then extradited a year later to the United States. He is 60 years old and is currently being held in a Manhattan prison awaiting trial .