Three sons of former drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman were among 28 members of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel charged last week in connection to a widespread fentanyl trafficking operation.
According to an indictment, obtained by CBS News, the Justice Department alleges Ovidio Guzmán López, Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, and Iván Archivaldo Guzmán Sálazar—who have been referred to as Chapitos or little Chapos—tortured their victims with corkscrews, electrocution, and hot chiles. Some of their enemies have allegedly been “fed dead or alive to tigers.”
The indictment reads, “Once information was obtained by these captives, typically through torture, these individuals were killed—either by or at the direction of the Chapitos themselves—and the bodies disposed of throughout the area. While many of these victims were shot, others were fed dead or alive to tigers,” which were owned by Iván and Jesús Alfredo.
Prosecutors claim the 2017 capture and death of two Mexican federal law enforcement officers involved two of El Chapo’s sons. While one of them was interrogated and subsequently killed, the other was subjected to horrific torture in the presence of the Chapitos.
Tortured for “approximately two hours” by “Ninis”—the hitmen associated with the Sinaloa Cartel—the law enforcement officer had his muscle ripped out with a corkscrew, followed by hot chiles being poured in his open wound and nose. He was then fatally shot by Iván.
The bodies of the two officers were later disposed of at a nearby motel.
El Chapo’s sons also electrocuted and waterboarded rival cartel members and anyone who failed to pay back their debts. The trio allegedly used their prisoners as test subjects when they wanted to determine the potency of their fentanyl.
The Sinaloa Cartel’s drug trafficking operation started with buying the precursor chemicals in fentanyl from China, then producing the drug in Mexico before making its way to the United States.
Ovidio Guzmán López was captured in January in a shootout that left 29 dead. Ovidio remains the only one of El Chapo’s sons who has been detained.