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Mexico's president says they'll arrest El Chapo's son if public is not at risk

The younger Guzmán was briefly detained last week but released after officials realized they were outmatched by the drug traffickers.
Image: Special unit of Mexican Army conduct patrol after cartel gunmen clashed with federal forces in Culiacan
Members of a special unit of the Mexican Army conduct a patrol as part of an operation to increase security after cartel gunmen clashed with federal forces, resulting in the release of Ovidio Guzman from detention, the son of drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, in Culiacan, in Sinaloa state, Mexico on Oct. 19, 2019.Reuters

MEXICO CITY — Mexico's president said Monday his government still intends to arrest Ovidio Guzmán, son of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, once it can do so safely after the suspected trafficker's forces waged gun battles with authorities in the northwestern city of Culiacan.

The younger Guzmán was briefly detained on Thursday in Culiacán, in the state of Sinaloa. He was released after officials realized they were outmatched.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the decision to free Ovidio Guzmán halted the shootings and saved lives, and he would order another apprehension provided there is an arrest warrant for the operation and that the public is not put in danger.

"People's lives must be looked after," he said.

Mexicans were divided over the decision to free Guzmán and widely skeptical over the government's ability to contain escalating violence, according to an Oct. 18-20 phone survey of 400 adults published on Monday by newspaper Reforma.

It found that 49 percent of respondents disagreed with the decision to release Guzmán, while 45 percent agreed with it. The poll also showed 56 percent of respondents felt that organized crime was stronger than the government, while one third took the opposite view.

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