Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is one of the most feared drug lords in history. In the criminal underworld, only the most unforgiving and ruthless people are able to climb the ladder, and El Chapo possessed those qualities in droves, never afraid to resort to torture or even murder to ward off his competition.
It would seem that in El Chapo’s case, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as it has recently been reported that his sons—also in the drug trade—use even more brutal tactics against their enemies.
Three of El Chapo’s Sons Were Arrested in April, 2023
The arrest of drug lord “El Chapo” Guzman’s son led to intense firefighitng in Mexico’s Culiancan city. pic.twitter.com/eNyyqQe2Hz— DW News (@dwnews) January 6, 2023
Three of El Chapo’s sons, Ovidio Guzmán López, Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar and Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Sálazar—known collectively as the Chapitos—were among 28 Sinaloa cartel members recently arrested in a massive fentanyl-trafficking investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.
According to the Justice Department, the Sinaloa cartel ran “the largest, most violent and most prolific fentanyl trafficking operation in the world.”
This is certainly a fitting description when one takes into account the methods by which the cartel, and specifically the Chapitos, would torture their enemies, of whom included members of law enforcement, members of rival cartels, and those who did not pay owed debts to the cartel.
How Did El Chapo’s Sons Torture Their Victims?
El Chapo sons among Sinaloa cartel members charged by US https://t.co/Cx8x2G3bSX— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) April 14, 2023
The indictment against the Chapitos contains chilling descriptions of their crimes, one portion reading, “For approximately two hours, members of the Ninis [the cartel’s hitmen] tortured Victim-5 by inserting a corkscrew into Victim 5’s muscles, ripping it out of his muscles, and placing hot chiles in his open wounds and nose.”
The indictment goes on to detail how the cartel used waterboarding and electrocution as torture methods; it even fed the still-living bodies of its victims to tigers owned by the Chapitos.
The majority of this torture took place on the Navolato, Sinaloa ranch owned by Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Sálazar.
Like Their Father, the Chapitos Will Likely Spend Life in Prison
The Chapitos seem to be following even further in their father’s footsteps: They will most likely each receive a life sentence.
After a series of arrests and prison escapes, El Chapo was extradited to the U.S., where in 2019, he was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years. He was also ordered to forfeit more than $12.6 billion. He is currently serving his time ADX Florence, the country’s most secure supermax prison.