AMLO Orders Inquiry into DEA-Requested Arrest of El Chapo’s Son

(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has ordered an investigation into the “errors” and “failures” of an attempt to capture the son of the world’s most notorious drug lord, following a request by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

“The failed operation needs to be investigated and analyzed,” Lopez Obrador said at his daily press conference. “On the other hand, the decision to stop the action in order to save human lives was the right one.” The DEA did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, has been struggling to contain the fallout from a botched operation to detain Ovidio Guzman Lopez, son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The son is said to have taken over some of the criminal activities of his father, who is serving out a life sentence in the U.S. The confrontation left eight dead and occurred in Culiacan, Sinaloa, the stronghold of the violent cartel Guzman had led.

While AMLO was aware of the security forces’ difficulty in arresting Guzman Lopez, the president then boarded a commercial flight to Oaxaca. As he was in transit he was unavailable when members of his security cabinet made the decision to release the suspect, Jesus Ramirez, the spokesman of the president, told Bloomberg News. It’s not yet clear at what time AMLO boarded the plane.

Security forces were carrying out a request to present Guzman Lopez before Mexican authorities as part of extradition proceedings sought since December by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Ramirez said.

Cartel members on Thursday turned Culiacan into a war zone after the authorities surrounded Guzman Lopez at a house where he was taking refuge. Homemade tanks complete with machine guns rumbled through the streets, stopping traffic and firing repeatedly. The city was littered with burning vehicles as residents posted videos on Twitter of gunfire and chaos.

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