HomeNewsBrief'Ovidio Fest' - Culiacán Asked to Celebrate Release of El Chapo’s Son
BRIEF

'Ovidio Fest' - Culiacán Asked to Celebrate Release of El Chapo’s Son

MEXICO / 16 OCT 2020 BY KENDALL HORVATH EN

It has been one year since authorities in Mexico released Sinaloa Cartel scion Ovidio Guzmán to stop his gunmen from laying waste to Culiacán, and now a block party -- replete with music, beer, raffles and a parade -- is allegedly in the works to celebrate. 

A post on social media inviting people to "Ovidio Fest" has been shared thousands of times and received hundreds of comments. The party -- set to be held October 17 -- is a self-described celebration of the "rescue" of Ovidio, one of the sons of convicted Sinaloa Cartel capo Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias "El Chapo.”

The capture and subsequent release of Ovidio -- an enormous embarrassment for the government -- occurred after heavily-armed cartel henchmen laid siege to Culiacán on October 17, 2019. Gun battles erupted on the streets. Smoke billowed from the husks of vehicles set ablaze. The gunmen held the city hostage for several hours until government forces -- outnumbered and outgunned -- were ordered to free him.

SEE ALSO: Son of ‘El Chapo’ Freed After Fierce Cartel Mobilization in Mexico

The Facebook post invites Culiacán's residents to celebrate at the Desarrollo Urbano Tres Ríos business district, with festivities kicking off at 5 p.m.  There will be "live music, food, wine, beer," in addition to raffles, surprise gifts and contests, as well as a parade, the post reads. 

According to local media reports, Culiacán Mayor Jesús Estrada Ferreiro was unaware the invitation was being circulated but said he would look into the matter.

InSight Crime Analysis

While it remains to be seen if the party will happen, the event alone speaks to how the sons of El Chapo, known collectively as Los Chapitos, are benefiting from their father's quasi-mythical reputation.

The Guzmán family legacy is built on El Chapo’s rags-to-riches origin story. El Chapo was born into a poor family in the rural community of La Tuna in Sinaloa state. He got his start in the drug trade when he and his cousins cultivated marijuana as teenagers.

There is a long cultural, historical and social context regarding drug trafficking in Sinaloa. For decades, security forces have violently cracked down on communities suspected of being involved in smuggling. As a result, locals have, at times, expressed affinity toward those who have been able to outwit authorities and protect what is for many their main source of livelihood.

Like drug traffickers before him, El Chapo gained local support by using the cartel’s wealth to allegedly develop infrastructure projects, provide medical assistance and make other contributions to his home state. 

His legend only grew with two movie-like prison escapes: first in a laundry cart in 2001 and then through an underground tunnel on a motorcycle in 2015.

While the head of the Sinaloa Cartel, he became the world's most notorious drug trafficker, only rivaled by former Medellín Cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar. 

Narcocorridos celebrated his exploits, and he garnered popular interest in and out of Mexico. He even graced Forbes' exclusive list of the world's billionaires for a time.

Numerous profiles have been written about him, and his life story is the subject of a Netflix series, "El Chapo."

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Since he was imprisoned for life in the United States in 2019, his family has tried to preserve his Robin Hood persona by handing out pandemic assistance packages, which were stamped with his face and name. His wife also released a clothing line in his styling.

Though El Chapo has become intertwined in popular culture, his ruthlessness as leader of one of the world’s most notorious transnational crime groups must not be overlooked. He either directly participated in or ordered the torture and murder of dozens of people, as was described in his highly publicized trial.

Since their father's capture, Ovidio and two of his brothers, Iván and Jésus, have seen their profiles raised in the cartel, and there have been reports they are battling the cartel's old guard for power. They have also left their own trail of bloodshed, with their men reportedly involved in a shootout that left 16 people dead in Culiacán and the execution of a former ally. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Justice Department allege that they have continued their father's drug trafficking empire.

The block party celebrating Ovidio’s release falls in a familiar vein -- toasting Guzmán's brazen escape and burnishing the family legacy while disregarding the damage wrought.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HOMICIDES / 11 APR 2014

The government of Mexico's declarations of a dramatic reduction in homicides linked to organized crime does not correspond with the…

MEXICO / 12 JAN 2011

Activist Marisela Escobedo, 52, was shot and killed while demanding justice for her daughter's murder in Chihuahua City on…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 2 FEB 2011

When war broke out between the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO) and the Sinaloa Cartel in 2008, it was the bloody…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…