Mexican news outlets are reporting that El Nini was arrested by armed forces this afternoon (Wednesday, November 22) in Culiacan, a city in the state of Sinaloa. He is now set to be transferred to Mexico City and could face extradition to the US.
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A video has emerged purporting to show El Nini attempting to escape from authorities on the roof of a complex in Culiacan, all while guns are being fired. This last-ditch attempt to flee was unsuccessful.
Journalist Luis Chaparro cited US sources as saying it was El Nini's own people who "left him alone to be captured". El Nini was apparently "looking to create his own organisation" after losing support from Ivan Archivaldo Guzmán (one of El Chapo's sons). Just days ago, an expert suggested El Nini could be looking to betray Los Chapitos and go into business for himself.
The net has been closing around El Nini for some time now. Security forces raided his properties earlier this month (and bizarrely found three Bengal tigers).
It comes as part of a wider push for Los Chapitos to be brought to justice. They stand accused of flooding the US with deadly fentanyl, contributing to spirally overdose deaths, among a raft of other cartel-related crimes.
Ovidio Guzmán - one of the four sons who took over the Sinaloa Cartel after El Chapo's capture - was arrested earlier this year and is in US custody. Indictments were passed against several other members of the organisation including El Nini. US authorities were offering a $3million reward for information leading to El Nini's capture.
An indictment from the Southern District of New York previously described how El Nini and another Sinaloa Cartel operative known as El 27 used unwilling human beings as test subjects for their fentanyl, despite the fact "the cartel possesses the technical capability" to test its drugs in a laboratory.
The pair were said to have experimented on one woman they were "supposed to shoot", injecting her "repeatedly with a lower potency of fentanyl until she ultimately overdosed and died". They also tested fentanyl on "individuals who were tied down". The indictment went on to state that "three cooks in a fentanyl lab that they controlled died after sampling the product".
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