The sons of notorious drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and their cartel associates allegedly used corkscrews, electrocution and hot chili peppers to torture their rivals, according to an indictment recently released by the US Department of Justice. Some of their enemies have also reportedly been “fed dead or alive to tigers”.
According to a report by CBS News, Ovidio Guzman Lopez, Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar and Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar, known as the Chapitos, or little chapos, were among 28 members of the Sinaloa cartel charged last week in connection with a widespread fentanyl trade.
The indictment also details the barbaric methods of torture and executions used by the cartel to expand power and intimidate enemies.
“Once information was obtained by these prisoners, usually through torture, these individuals were killed by or at the direction of the Chapitos themselves and the bodies were dispersed throughout the area. While many of these victims were shot, others were found dead or “living for tigers” by Ivan and Alfredo,” the indictment says.
Prosecutors further alleged that the 2017 arrest and death of two Mexican federal law enforcement officers involved two of El Chapo’s sons. While one of them was interrogated and then killed, the other was subjected to gruesome torture.
“For approximately two hours, members of the Ninis tortured Victim 5 by inserting a corkscrew into Victim 5’s muscles, pulling him out of his muscles, and placing hot chili peppers in his open wounds and nose” before being shot dead by Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Salazar, alleges the indictment.
They also used electrocution and waterboarding to torture members of rival drug cartels and associates who refused to pay debts.
In 2019, El Chapo, the founder of the Sinaloa cartel, was sentenced to life in a maximum security prison in Colorado. A jury convicted him of drug trafficking and involvement in multiple murder plots as the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. In January 2023, Ovidio Guzman, nicknamed “El Raton”, was also captured.
However, the cartel still remains one of the most powerful in Mexico, accused of exploiting an opioid epidemic by flooding communities with fentanyl, a synthetic drug about 50 times more potent than heroin.