Tags: ovidio guzman | el chapo | lópez obrador | border

Biden to Meet with Mexican President, Days After Son of 'El Chapo' Bust

By    |   Sunday, 08 January 2023 02:21 PM EST

The son of Mexican drug cartel leader “El Chapo” has been arrested – only four days before President Biden is due to visit the drug-plagued country. Ovidio Guzman is wanted for contributing to the fentanyl epidemic that led to as many as 70,000 American deaths last year.

Echoing the chaos in Mexico, in seizing Guzman, 29 people were killed in shootouts with the Sinaloa Cartel.

Mexican officials have denied the raid, but its timing seemed to dovetail with Biden's visit.

"It certainly seems like politics. There's a lot of speculation now that it's all about the timing," former Drug Enforcement Administration official Derek Maltz said to USA Today. "Biden announces he's going down to Mexico, so now they're going to go out and grab Ovidio."

DEA leaders and counternarcotics officials believe Mexico has been inflating the quantity of fentanyl seized at cartel “superlabs,” where it is mass-produced and critically located just south of the border for easy accessibility for smuggling into the U.S., according to Maltz, who had been in charge of DEA’s Special Operations Division for nearly a decade.

“In my opinion, unless it's sustained attacks against the cartel leadership and the production labs, it's not going to make a difference,” said Maltz to USA Today. “Meanwhile, we have 9,000 Americans dying every month."

It may be politics as usual, but Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wishes the border to be secure, as U.S.-manufactured firearms are smuggled into Mexico, which has led to Sinaloa, Jalisco New Generation and other cartels to gain hostile footing in Mexico.

Securing the border would minimize the growth of cartels in Mexico as well as the fentanyl overdoses that had killed more Americans last year than COVID-19, car accidents, cancer and suicide.

White House spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. and Mexico are already taking “significant steps” to curb fentanyl traffickers. He told reporters, “we’re going to continue to work with them in lockstep to see what we can do jointly to try to limit that flow.”

López Obrador said he would take a “hugs, not bullets” approach to the drug and cartel problem.

David Luna, a former State Department official who worked on bilateral moves to combat transnational drug cartels, said, “You can’t just focus on the cartels and the criminality … To make greater progress, with greater results, you need to be fighting the enabling corruption and organized crime that is helping to fuel the insecurity and cartel violence in Mexico."

The arrest of former Mexican defense minister, retired Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, on drug trafficking-related charges on Oct. 15, 2020, led to tension between Mexico and the U.S. and the stripping of bilateral law enforcement operations. 

Luna says to move forward, Biden “needs to take a more direct role” with Mexico: “President Biden must place greater accountability on President Obrador to disrupt the illegal fentanyl production in Mexico and to disrupt the various illicit trafficking flows.”

He says Mexico needs to do its part with the “superlabs” and that they have the intel shared by the U.S. but have not enacted an approach to enforcement. Mexico needs to stop it from its source, says Luna, that being China and India, where fentanyl and meth are produced.

It’s uncertain how López Obrador will respond to Biden. The U.S.-Mexico relations have been rocky; after his second visit to the White House, he told Biden he was meeting “in spite of our differences and also in spite of our grievances that are not really easy to forget with time or with good wishes.”

In a letter to President Biden, López Obrador noted he plans to stick to issues of his own nation, pressing upon election interference.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The son of Mexican drug cartel leader "El Chapo" has been arrested - only four days before President Biden is due to visit the drug-plagued country. Ovidio Guzman is wanted for contributing to the fentanyl epidemic that led to as many as 70,000 American deaths last...
ovidio guzman, el chapo, lópez obrador, border
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2023-21-08
Sunday, 08 January 2023 02:21 PM
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