Mexico has released El Chapo's son ‘to protect lives’ amid chaos

Mexico has released El Chapo's son ‘to protect lives’ amid chaos

Dramatic scenes have unfolded in Culiacán, Mexico, after the son of Mexican drug leader El Chapo, Ovidio Guzmán López, was arrested.

Four people were arrested under suspicion of drug trafficking in the United States, NBC News reported. However, as soon as the arrest was made, the defense and National Guard contingent were attacked by cartel members.

"During that action, one of them was identified as Ovidio Guzmán López," Minister Alfonso Durazo Monraño said.

These are the scenes of chaos which unfolded after Guzmán's arrest:

The attack featured above was so extreme that authorities retreated in a bid to save their own lives.

The Chapo family later confirmed to AP that this meant that Ovidio was no longer under arrest. The news outlet added that he was detained inside a house that was subsequently surrounded by cartel members who outpowered the authorities within.

"The decision was taken to retreat from the house, without Guzman to try to avoid more violence in the area and preserve the lives of our personnel and recover calm in the city," Minister Alfonso Durazo Monraño said.

Sky News reports that gangsters set up roadblocks in the area and began to attack authorities with heavy automatic gunfire.

According to the BBC, Ovidio, 28, filled his father's shoes in the Sinaloa cartel, after he was arrested and sentenced to life behind bars.

Prior to his arrest, El Chapo was one of the richest people in the world and even made the Forbes rich list in 2009.

El Chapo is pictured below being extradited to the United States in January 2017.

El Chapo being extradited. Credit: PA Images

When El Chapo was sentenced to life behind bars, the charges brought against him spanned a quarter of a century and included trafficking hundreds of tonnes of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, and marijuana to the United States, the Guardian reports. 

El Chapo was extradited to the US in 2017 so that he could be placed under a much tighter watch after he spent 14 years on the run after escaping from prison in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart.