Los Chapitos Ask the DEA to Just Leave Them Alone

El Chapo's sons say they are not in charge of the Sinaloa cartel and claim they have nothing to do with the fentanyl trade.

The sons of former Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán are asking the U.S.’s DEA to leave them alone and urging them to investigate “who really owns” the recently busted fentanyl laboratories in Sinaloa.

In a letter sent to prominent Mexican journalist Azucena Uresti on May 4, the Guzmán brothers, collectively known as “Los Chapitos,” said they are not the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel nor “pretend to be in any way.” They also claimed that the fentanyl being produced currently in Sinaloa “has a name [behind it]” and it's not theirs. 


Los Chapitos are allegedly led by 40-year-old Iván Guzmán Salazar, along with his younger brothers Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, 37, and Joaquín Guzmán López, 36, and Ovidio Guzmán López, 33. The first three are all currently fugitives with million dollar bounties on their heads. In January, Mexican security forces captured Ovidio Guzmán López after a firefight that left at least 29 people dead.

“We have never worked with fentanyl, although there are many in Sinaloa that do produce it, and that’s why we have seen the recent seizures. But those laboratories have a name and a last name. Do some research. You would only need to send a single agent to Sinaloa,” the Guzmáns wrote in the letter.

The Guzmáns referenced the latest press conference by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chief Anne Milgram on April 14, complaining that “the anti-drugs agency of the most powerful country in the world “put their name at an international level.

“This is harming us and is becoming international propaganda used to their only benefit,” the letter reads. 

On April 14, the DEA announced new charges against “Los Chapitos”, alleging that they are more powerful and even deadlier than their father El Chapo.


“The Chapitos pioneered the manufacture and trafficking of fentanyl – the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced – flooded it into the United States for the past eight years and killed hundreds of thousands of Americans,” Milgram said. 

Los Chapitos also hit out against “influencers and YouTubers” for “earning innumerable benefits from our name and interviewing so-called experts using our name without having any idea who we are."

“A lie told a thousand times becomes a truth,” Los Chapitos added in the letter.  

“We have always chosen to remain silent and be cautious about speaking in public. We thought that by remaining silent the consequences would slowly disappear,” the letter says. 

The three-page letter was sent to Uresti through José del Refugio Rodríguez, a Mexican attorney from Sinaloa who has represented El Chapo in the past.

The U.S. Department Of Justice announced new indictments against the Guzmán brothers in April, which alleged that they had tested fentanyl on humans before shipping it to the U.S.

In the same month, Mexico and the U.S. announced the creation of a new commission to fight the trafficking of illicit synthetic drugs, firearms, and ammunition, putting Los Chapitos firmly in the cross hairs. 

The letter comes as a war of words continues between the U.S and Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who insists that fentanyl is not, in fact, produced in Mexico.