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At least 15 die as sons of El Chapo battle to control drug cartel

Drug lord civil war leaves at least 15 people dead as sons of El Chapo battle with kingpin’s former right hand man for control of the Sinaloa Cartel

  • Infighting between the ruling ranks of the Sinaloa Cartel left 15 people dead
  • The group started to splinter following the arrest and extradition of kingpin Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán to the United States
  • Mexican media outlets attributed Wednesday’s killings in Culiacán, Mexico, to an armed group tied to his sons, known as Los Chapitos
  • Seven men from a gang linked to El Chapo’s former right hand man, ‘El Mayo’, were killed in the Culiacán mountainous town of Tepuche
  • Another eight were killed in a different part of the Los Bagrecitos community

A civil war within the ranks of Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s old Sinaloa drugs cartel has left another 15 people dead after a series of brutal executions.

Mexican authorities in the western state of Sinaloa recovered the bodies following several incidents that took place Wednesday morning.

Gangs linked to El Chapo’s sons, otherwise known as Los Chapitos, attacked those loyal to the drug lord’s former right hand man, Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada.

 The power struggle for control of the Sinaloa Cartel stretches back to the January 2016 arrest of former leader El Chapo, who was extradited to the United States the following year.

The feud grew when El Mayo’s son, Vicente Zambada, took the stand during El Chapo’s trial at a New York federal court before the notorious drug lord was convicted and sentenced to life in prison last July. 

The Sinaloa Cartel, once commanded by Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán (center), has splintered since the notorious drug lord was jailed and extradited to the United States

The Sinaloa Cartel, once commanded by Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán (center), has splintered since the notorious drug lord was jailed and extradited to the United States

Iván Archivaldo Guzmán along with his two siblings heads the Los Chapitos wing of the Sinaloa Cartel

Jesus Alfredo Guzmán, one of Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán's three sons

At least 15 people were executed in Culiacán, Mexico, on Wednesday due to a Sinaloa Cartel internal conflict. News outlets reported a gang tied to Los Chapitos – a faction of the cartel led by Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán’s three sons – including Iván Archivaldo (left), Jesus Alfredo (right) – ordered the killings 

Ovidio Guzmán is one of El Chapo's three sons who has assumed control of the organization in his absence

Ovidio Guzmán is one of El Chapo’s three sons who has assumed control of the organization in his absence 

Images shared on social media showed at least seven dead men lying on the ground next to a truck on the side of a road in the Culiacán mountainous neighborhood of Tepuche.

All of the victims were wearing bulletproof vests and were in possession of military rifles and walkie talkies.

Another eight men were killed in attacks that saw people being shot in a different part of the Los Bagrecitos community by one of the armed gangs.  

Mexican local news outlets attributed to killings to men loyal to El Chapo’s sons Ovidio, Jesús Alfredo and Ivan Archivaldo Guzmán – known as Los Chapitos. 

New outlets report that the Tepuche neighborhood is infiltrated by armed groups loyal to Los Chapitos, and El Mayo’s henchmen who are led by a man known as ‘El Ruso’ or The Russian, who also goes by the names of Miguel Ángel Gaxiola and Jesús Alejandro Sánchez. 

El Chapo's former righthand man and cartel co-founder, Ismael 'El Mayo' Zambada has been feuding with his sons, who also have a leadership stake

El Chapo’s former righthand man and cartel co-founder, Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada has been feuding with his sons, who also have a leadership stake

Soldiers guard the perimeter where seven men were killed Wednesday due to an internal conflict between ruling members of the Sinaloa Cartel

Soldiers guard the perimeter where seven men were killed Wednesday due to an internal conflict between ruling members of the Sinaloa Cartel 

El Chapo was captured in 2016 in Mexico, extradited to America in 2017 and handed a life-sentence in the U.S. last July, when he was found guilty of a number of criminal charges relating to his leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel. He is now serving a life sentence in ADX Florence. 

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