The Mexican state of Jalisco is bracing for a feared explosion of violencie after the son of the country’s top drug lord was kidnapped by rivals. Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar was seized by gunmen along with some 10 of his minions as they dined at an upscale restaurant in the resort town of Puerta Vallarta on Aug. 15. Guzmán Salazar is the son of Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán, imprisoned kingpin of the Sinaloa Cartel. Jalisco authorities believe the kidnapping was perpetrated by the state’s reigning criminal machine, Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), which has been resisting an incursion by the Sinaloa competition.
Jesús Alfredo was charged in a US court in 2009 with drug trafficking, and has been the public face of the Sinaloa Cartel on social media since his dad’s imprisonment.
But there are also indications that a power struggle is underway within the Sinaloa Cartel, and some are questioning the official version of a CJNG hit. On June 11, the house of El Chapo’s mother, Consuelo Loera, was raided and looted—in the mountain fastness of La Tuna pueblo in Sinaloa, far from the New Generation’s turf.