Joaquin El Chapo Guzman has had to go through a lot this year, from his recapture to the torture complaints in prison, and just recently, the kidnapping of his son Jesus Alfredo Guzman. According to the widely circulated report by the press, he and five other men from the Sinaloa cartel were kidnapped on August 15 while at a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. The armed men were said to be from the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. The following was what happened, according to CNN.
“Early on August 15, the seven men stormed into a trendy restaurant on the main drag of Puerto Vallarta, a Mexican beach resort. They interrupted a group of revelers in the white-walled restaurant, separating the men from the women, and left with a high-value captive, according to Mexican authorities.
The kidnapping had been seen as the latest blow to the elder Guzman’s efforts from behind bars to maintain Sinaloa cartel’s dominance in the region amid challenges from an emerging rival, the Jalisco New Generation cartel.”
El Chapo Guzman’s son Alfredo was said to have been released about a week later. That said, an investigation carried out by Riodoce indicates that the supposedly ‘official’ version of events was not entirely accurate. Starting with the kidnapped men, the widely circulated version indicates that only one of El Chapo Guzman’s sons Jesus Alfredo Guzman was kidnapped.
But according to a new report, three of his sons Ivan Archivaldo, Caesar and Alfredo were among them. According to Borderland Beat, the brothers were celebrating Ivan Guzman’s birthday at the La Leche restaurant when the men stormed in. Apparently, they only brought one bodyguard who was easily overcome by the CJNG gunmen. The following is an excerpt from Borderland Beat detailing this.
“[El Chapo Guzman’s sons] did have a bodyguard with them, but he was easily overcome by the sicarios.
Inside, close to 16 sicarios took control of the Guzman’s, but the group of attackers was in total some 50 armed men. Another of the Guzman brothers, Ovidio, was not at the party, but he was in Puerto Vallarta, and he had opted to stay at the Marriott hotel where all of the brothers had been staying. The reunion at La Leche was for the birthday of Ivan Archivaldo, on the 15th of August, and he had arranged for friends and family to attend, some 16 in number.”
Apparently, El Chapo’s sons together with friends kidnapped were released on August 19. However, Ivan and his bodyguard had been released days earlier. He is believed to have taken over the Sinaloa cartel leadership after his father was recaptured in January. Ivan is said to have opted to stay in Jalisco until his brothers were set free. In the days that followed the kidnapping, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada who has for a long time led the Sinaloa Cartel alongside El Chapo called for a meeting consisting of the top brass of the organization at a ranch in Sinaloa.
The associates are said to have arrived with heavily armed men, cordoning off the area. The meeting was to discuss the Puerto Vallarta situation after the Guzmans were kidnapped by members of the CJNG drug cartel. Retaliation for the move and the possibility of an all-out war against the Jalisco New Generation Cartel was discussed.
Negotiations between El Mayo and Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes aka El Mencho, the CJNG leader, are said to have taken place, but stalled after the latter refused to release El Chapo’s sons. On why El Mencho chose to kidnap Guzman’s sons, it has been rumored that he wanted to end a stalemate between the two cartels in hotly contested drug trafficking corridors to the United States and so wanted to use them as a bargaining chip. According to the New York Post, Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana regions were some of the areas of contention.
Apparently, El Mencho’s son El Menchito was kidnapped while in prison by Sinaloa cartel operatives as leverage in exchange for El Chapo’s sons. The Federal Government and Rafael Caro Quintero currently a fugitive drug lord, are said to have gotten involved to avert a war between the two biggest drug-trafficking cartels in Mexico, hence the release of El Chapo’s sons.
Meanwhile, El Chapo Guzman’s son Ivan is said to have taken immediate precautions to avoid a repeat of the situation by moving family members to safe locations. He is said to be preparing his men for a strong offense in case more Sinaloa Cartel and CJNG conflicts arise.
[Featured Image by Marco Ugarte/AP]