[Posters, I stated that it was my last post, but I'm a hypocrite. Sorry, continue to watch the news and the abundance of Steve's posts, unbelievable in quantity and quality. Thank you Steve, but the news goes in different directions. Eddie Van Halen, let's go on]
‘Ovidio Fest’ – Culiacán Asked to Celebrate Release of El Chapo’s Son
It has been one year since authorities in Mexico released Sinaloa Cartel scion Ovidio Guzmán to stop his gunmen from laying waste to Culiacán, and now a block party — replete with music, beer, raffles and a parade — is allegedly in the works to celebrate.
A post on social media inviting people to “Ovidio Fest” has been shared thousands of times and received hundreds of comments. The party — set to be held October 17 — is a self-described celebration of the “rescue” of Ovidio, one of the sons of convicted Sinaloa Cartel capo Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo.”
The capture and subsequent release of Ovidio — an enormous embarrassment for the government — occurred after heavily-armed cartel henchmen laid siege to Culiacán on October 17, 2019. Gun battles erupted on the streets. Smoke billowed from the husks of vehicles set ablaze. The gunmen held the city hostage for several hours until government forces — outnumbered and outgunned — were ordered to free him.
SEE ALSO: Son of ‘El Chapo’ Freed After Fierce Cartel Mobilization in Mexico
The Facebook post invites Culiacán’s residents to celebrate at the Desarrollo Urbano Tres Ríos business district, with festivities kicking off at 5 p.m. There will be “live music, food, wine, beer,” in addition to raffles, surprise gifts and contests, as well as a parade, the post reads.
According to local media reports, Culiacán Mayor Jesús Estrada Ferreiro was unaware the invitation was being circulated but said he would look into the matter.
InSight Crime Analysis
While it remains to be seen if the party will happen, the event alone speaks to how the sons of El Chapo, known collectively as Los Chapitos, are benefiting from their father’s quasi-mythical reputation.
The Guzmán family legacy is built on El Chapo’s rags-to-riches origin story. El Chapo was born into a poor family in the rural community of La Tuna in Sinaloa state. He got his start in the drug trade when he and his cousins cultivated marijuana as teenagers.
There is a long cultural, historical and social context regarding drug trafficking in Sinaloa. For decades, security forces have violently cracked down on communities suspected of being involved in smuggling. As a result, locals have, at times, expressed affinity toward those who have been able to outwit authorities and protect what is for many their main source of livelihood.
Like drug traffickers before him, El Chapo gained local support by using the cartel’s wealth to allegedly develop infrastructure projects, provide medical assistance and make other contributions to his home state.
His legend only grew with two movie-like prison escapes: first in a laundry cart in 2001 and then through an underground tunnel on a motorcycle in 2015.
While the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, he became the world’s most notorious drug trafficker, only rivaled by former Medellín Cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar.
Narcocorridos celebrated his exploits, and he garnered popular interest in and out of Mexico. He even graced Forbes’ exclusive list of the world’s billionaires for a time.
Numerous profiles have been written about him, and his life story is the subject of a Netflix series, “El Chapo.”
SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles
Since he was imprisoned for life in the United States in 2019, his family has tried to preserve his Robin Hood persona by handing out pandemic assistance packages, which were stamped with his face and name. His wife also released a clothing line in his styling.
Though El Chapo has become intertwined in popular culture, his ruthlessness as leader of one of the world’s most notorious transnational crime groups must not be overlooked. He either directly participated in or ordered the torture and murder of dozens of people, as was described in his highly publicized trial.
Since their father’s capture, Ovidio and two of his brothers, Iván and Jésus, have seen their profiles raised in the cartel, and there have been reports they are battling the cartel’s old guard for power. They have also left their own trail of bloodshed, with their men reportedly involved in a shootout that left 16 people dead in Culiacán and the execution of a former ally. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Justice Department allege that they have continued their father’s drug trafficking empire.
The block party celebrating Ovidio’s release falls in a familiar vein — toasting to Guzmán’s brazen escape and burnishing the family legacy while disregarding the damage they have wrought.
[OKAY, DURING OVIDIO'S BRIEF CAPTURE, INMATES WERE RELEASED INTO THE STREETS TO INCREASE THE CHAOS. NOT VERY MANY HAVE BEEN CAPTURED, AND THEY'LL SURELY SHOW UP AT THE OVIDIO FEST]
A year after the massive escape of 51 convicts in Culiacan, Sinaloa, during the city’s infamous “Jueves Negro” (Black Thursday) drug cartel attacks, authorities acknowledge that they have recaptured only six of the men who took advantage of the chaos to break out of the city’s Aguaruto penitentiary.
Of the six escapees that have been recaptured, four were found just three days later in the city, authorities said. A fifth was captured last December in Mazatlán, about three hours from Culiacán, and the sixth was arrested October 11 in Culiacán after attempting to rob a school.
“Black Thursday” refers to a chaotic and violent event in the state capital on October 17 following the authorities’ capture of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s son, Ovidio, in order to execute a U.S. warrant for his extradition.
Within a few hours, Guzmán’s detention in Culiacán unleashed a day of retaliatory chaos in the city by armed civilians believed to be part of the Sinaloa Cartel. They fired on authorities who had Guzmán in custody and then began a campaign of shootings, arson, and armed road blockades in the city.
At least eight people died and 16 were injured before authorities releasedGuzmán from custody on orders by President López Obrador, who told the country two days later that he was trying to prevent as many as 200 people from being killed by gangsters.
The 51 convicts who escaped the penitentiary in the chaos — which temporarily closed schools, businesses, and public transportation — were serving sentences for crimes such as armed robbery, drug trafficking, and murder.
[WE ALL KNOW THAT A HUMAN LIFE IS INVALUABLE. OBRADOR, ORDERED FORCES TO STAND DOWN WITH OVIDIO IN CUSTODY TO PREVENT A LOSS OF 200 LIVES. THE QUESTION IS DID THAT DECISION CREATE MORE DEATHS CONSEQUENTIALLY?]