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."