“Ivan” for Borderland Beat 

It was a moral defeat for Los Chapitos, a huge blow, especially to their pride. And a victory for the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, without him and the armed forces allowing themselves to celebrate it. The balance, or part of the balance that we knew until Friday in the voice of the Secretary of Defense, speaks of the intensity of an operation planned in advance and directed specifically to apprehend or kill Ovidio Guzmán López. In blood and fire, as it happened. That is why it was planned at dawn. That is why the cost in lives did not matter. Nor to break with “strategies” that the president of the republic himself “repudiated” and said they were a thing of the past.

In time, perhaps we will know why the federal government decided to lie about the way it arrested Ovidio Guzmán López for the second time, this time successfully, in spite of the disorder caused by the hired killers under the command of Los Chapitos, including deaths and injuries to federal forces.

When informing about the facts, the General Secretary of Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, said that, prior to the arrest, a six-month intelligence work was carried out, but then he affirmed that the arrest was circumstantial, because the C-4 detected in the vicinity of Jesus Maria -one of the main enclaves of the Guzman Lopez family-, a convoy of alleged criminals that was confronted by elements of the National Guard and that it was known that among them was the son of Chapo Guzman. But he lied, because Ovidio was asleep when they arrived for him at the house where he was hiding.

What the general secretary said does not hold up for a moment if one takes into account the quality of the operation, supported by helicopter gunships that shot at targets that cannot be seen but which, it can be presumed, correspond to the security rings of the main target. From the first hours there was talk of many dead in the initial zone of the operation, but this is information that only the government could give, as the Secretary General did the following day. Federal actions of this nature are not carried out in a reactive manner -that is, when the attacked party responds to the aggression- because they do not have the capacity to do so. This means that it is not that they ran into a convoy of alleged criminals, but that it was a surgically planned operation.

All in all, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador shakes off the defeat he carried on his back since October 2019, when he was forced to order Ovidio’s release to avoid, he said, the death of innocent people.

Nothing will change — or if anything, very little — with this arrest, because the head of the organization led by Los Chapitos is Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar, Ovidio’s half-brother. The government knows that. But it is Ovidio Guzman to whom the US government blames the production of fentanyl that is killing tens of thousands of addicts in the United States and who should be targeted for extradition. Moreover, for the last three years, he has been the most appetizing target in terms of the media.

The operation was a success if we assume that this time there were apparently no civilian victims. And that is no coincidence. The operation was carried out in the early morning, when people have not even got out of bed. Then the call of authorities and media alerting the population not to leave their homes, helped to reduce the risks. Also the suspension of activities in many areas of the government. And the lessons left by Black Thursday 2019. And what for years the population has seen in many parts of the country. In the eventuality of events like this, the immediate reaction of the people is to take shelter.

It is impossible not to link this apprehension with the visit, this Sunday, of the presidents of the United States and Canada. Above all, the pressure that the U.S. government has surely been exerting on Mexico to tighten its strategy against drug trafficking along the same lines it has been doing for many years, which is to focus on the leaders of the cartels… even though this has never solved the underlying problem.

Ball and chain

ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR has done everything possible to escape the pressures of the United States on drug trafficking and organized crime because the gringo vision does not match his “strategy” of hugs instead of bullets. But it is not possible given the power and information that the gringos have over us in many areas, not only in this one. It is no coincidence that three days after AMLO meets with Joe Biden in Washington, Rafael Caro Quintero has been caught in Sinaloa. I have no doubt that Ovid’s head is the Mexican government’s offering to Biden on his visit to Mexico.

Contrary meaning

WAS THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT INTERESTED IN Ovidio’s arrest? I really don’t think so. There are no elements to think that it was interested in fighting or at least stopping the strengthening of the criminal organization commanded by Los Chapitos. There was no known action, after the first culiacanazo, that would indicate such purposes. None. On the contrary, it seems that the slogan was to let them grow, strengthen their armies and their finances, their presence in the streets, in the economy, in the black business, even in politics, since in 2021 they meddled at will and with full impunity in the electoral process, to favor the candidates of Morena and PAS.

Black smoke

2023 STARTED VERY HOT and will most likely stay that way. It is the year leading up to the presidential election on the 24th and in these contexts passions tend to run high. Let’s hope it goes well for all of us. Thank you for following us, for reading us, for joining us. In February we will be 20 years old. In spite of everything. Happy New Year.

Article published on January 08, 2023 in the 1041st edition of the weekly Ríodoce.