Jesus Alfredo Guzman, the 29-year-old son of jailed Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, has been freed after he was kidnapped a week ago in Puerto Vallarta, three sources confirmed to CNN.
A high-ranking source inside the Mexican government confirmed he was freed, and a source close to the Guzman family said El Chapo’s son, who was kidnapped along with five other people by seven armed men, is now in Sinaloa, Mexico.
Journalist Anabel Hernandez confirmed to CNN that according to sources inside the Guzman family, El Chapo’s son was freed on Saturday.
Early on August 15, the seven men stormed into a trendy restaurant on the main drag of Puerto Vallarta, a Mexican beach resort.
They interrupted a group of revelers in the white-walled restaurant, separating the men from the women, and left with a high-value captive, according to Mexican authorities.
The kidnapping had been seen as the latest blow to the elder Guzman’s efforts from behind bars to maintain Sinaloa cartel’s dominance in the region amid challenges from an emerging rival, the Jalisco New Generation cartel. Officials suspect that Jalisco New Generation may be responsible for the kidnappings.
Jesus Alfredo Guzman and his brother Ivan Archivaldo Guzman are thought to be involved with the Sinaloa cartel, along with Guzman’s son by another woman, Ovidio Guzmán Lopez.
“The kidnapping was an “important development because it affects the power structure of the Sinaloa cartel. His son was supposed to be part of the new leadership,” a senior Mexican law enforcement official said last week, referring to Alfredo.
But, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation, intelligence suggests Alfredo was not taking his role with organization seriously and was “caught off guard,” allowing the abduction to happen.
“[He’s] been partying a lot,” the source said of Alfredo.
Witness interviews, surveillance video and a search of five vehicles parked outside La Leche restaurant where the incident occurred led to the identification of Jesus Alfredo and three other men.
They all have ties to organized crime, Jalisco Attorney General Eduardo Almaguer said at a news conference August 16.
The other men were identified as Juan Daniel Calva Tapia, 53, Josias Nahujali Rabago Borbolla, 35, and Víctor Galvan Ureña, 46.
The Mexican army, marines, federal police, state police and the country’s top prosecution office were searching for the missing men and their kidnappers, Almaguer said.
Jesus Alfredo is the youngest of El Chapo’s two children from his first marriage. His older brother, Ivan Archivaldo Guzman, was imprisoned in Mexico in 2005 but released three years later for lack of evidence.
The elder Guzman is behind bars in a Juarez, Mexico, prison as his attorneys fight efforts to extradite him to the United States.