In a revelatory public statement, the U.S. Government has confirmed its role in the controversial 2019 arrest of Ovidio Guzmán López, commonly known as “El Ratón.” Orchestrated through the Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the operation in question has broad implications for both U.S.-Mexico relations and the ongoing war on drugs. This article delves into the intricate dynamics of this operation and its fallout, offering a nuanced analysis of its impact on regional stability and international drug trafficking.
The Culiacán Operation
Known as Operation Paisano, the endeavor that led to López’s initial capture was a joint venture between U.S. Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and the Mexican Army. According to Patrick J. Lechleitner, the acting director of ICE, this was the U.S. Government's first public acknowledgment of their involvement, something that had previously been undisclosed by Mexican authorities.