El Chapo's son kidnapped at gunpoint, signaling decline of once-powerful Sinaloa Cartel, report says

Gunmen abducted Sinaloa higher-up Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar along with five others in Puerto Vallarta on Monday

By Brendan Gauthier
August 17, 2016 10:29PM (UTC)
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FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2016 file photo, Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by army soldiers to a waiting helicopter, at a federal hangar in Mexico City, after he was recaptured from breaking out of a maximum security prison in Mexico. The History channel says it's developing a drama series focusing on Guzman's story. Last year, Guzman had broken out of prison and was on the run when he had a secret meeting with Mexican actress Kate del Castillo and Sean Penn. The actor wrote about it for Rolling Stone. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File) (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, the son of notorious drug cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán Loera — better known as El Chapo — was kidnapped at gunpoint in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, early Monday morning, according to a New York Times report.

Gunmen abducted Jesús Alfredo, 30, a higher-up in the Sinaloa Cartel — which his father headed before his arrest in January — along with five others from an upscale restaurant in the Pacific Coast resort town.


Jesús Alfredo and his older brother Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar — the current leader of the Sinaloa Cartel — are wanted in the United States on federal drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

Early reports credit rival Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) with the kidnappings.

In June, 150 gunmen reportedly pillaged El Chapo's mother's house in the remote village of La Tuna, in Sinaloa.


Recent affronts by rival gangs signal structural woes within the once-powerful Sinaloa Cartel following El Chapo's third arrest and ongoing extradition proceedings. After his very public escape from a maximum-security prison in July 2015, El Chapo was recaptured and is now under 24-hour surveillance at a prison near Ciudad Juarez, near the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Without doubt it’s bad news for security conditions in Sinaloa and the north-east of the country," Adrián López, editor of Sinaloa-based newspaper El Noroeste told The Guardian. "If it is confirmed that the kidnapping of one of Guzmán’s sons … [was carried out] by the [CJNG] we would add a new and powerful enemy for the Sinaloa cartel."

Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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