The brewing conflict between aspirants to the Sinaloa cartel throne apparently reached a new stage earlier this month when gunmen aligned with one cartel leader attacked the sons and a longtime associate of the jailed kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

According to a letter purportedly handwritten by Jesús Alfredo and Iván Archivaldo Guzmán, the attack occurred when they arrived with Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada at a meeting on February 4 called by longtime cartel member Dámaso López “on the issue of having evidence that Dámaso López ordered the kidnapping of the sons of ‘El Chapo‘” in August.

When they arrived at the meeting site — reportedly in Badiraguato, the Sinaloa municipality where “El Chapo” was born — gunmen opened fire on them. According to the letter, which was originally published by the Mexican journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva, some of the bodyguards were killed instantly.

The brothers “realized they were betrayed by el licenciado Dámaso López, trying to kill them so as to end” the Guzmán family at the root, the letter says, referring to López as “licenciado” because he has a law degree.


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