Lawyers for the family of convicted drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán thanked the Mexican government and President López Obrador for freeing El Chapo’s son, Ovidio Guzmán, during a violent clash in Culiacán on Thursday.
Lawyers José Luis González Meza and Juan Pablo Badillo Soto gave a press conference on Friday to offer their own version of the events that terrorized residents of the Sinaloa capital.
They said authorities found Ovidio Guzmán in a house in Tres Ríos, in northern Culiacán. He was arrested, interrogated and beaten for five hours, but was later released because there was not enough evidence to hold him, the lawyers claimed.
The word then came down from higher authorities that he be released, they said.
“. . . with a great deal of good judgement,” President López Obrador ordered his release. The lawyers praised the president as a “human and Christian” president for the decision.
They also denied that associates of the Guzmán family were involved in the attacks on security forces on Thursday. One report said they pointed the finger at opponents of the López Obrador government.
On Friday, the president acknowledged that the decision to release Guzmán was made by the security cabinet, and that he had personally approved it. However, the president said the Sinaloa Cartel leader was released to prevent further violence, not because of a lack of evidence.
The United States Justice Department has accused Ovidio Guzmán and his brother Joaquín Guzmán López of trafficking cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine from Mexico to the United States between 2008 and 2018.