By: Rajini KG
January 13 2023
Old footage of a clash between Mexican security forces with a crime group is being falsely linked to the recent unrest after Guzmán's arrest.
The recent arrest of Ovidio Guzmán-López, the alleged new leader of the Sinaloa cartel, led to angry gang members blocking roads, burning scores of cars, and attacking airplanes at a nearby airport. BBC reported that ten soldiers and 19 suspects died during and following the arrest. Guzmán reportedly started running a cartel division after former Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, well known as "El Chapo," was found guilty in the U.S. in 2019 on charges of selling illegal drugs and money laundering. He is currently serving a life sentence in the U.S.
Following Guzmán's arrest, videos of the riots and clashes with security forces started circulating on social media. One such video was posted on Facebook with the caption, "On Thursday, Mexican security forces captured Cartel leader Ovidio Guzmán. A son of the infamous drug lord 'El Chapo.' Since being captured. The Sinaloa Cartel Has launched wide-scale retaliatory attacks against Mexican Security forces. Multiple clashes between security forces and the cartel were reported in and around the city of Culicán. The cartel blocked all major highways in the city of Culicán with burning vehicles. Looting also took place in the city."
However, this claim is false. The video in question has been online since December 2022 and is not from recent unrest reported in Mexico.
Using the InVID tool, we found the same video on a YouTube channel named Grillonautas2 on December 27, 2022. Its title in Spanish read, "Military repel CDN (Cartel del Noreste) ambush #Tamaulipas." Cartel del Noreste, or the Northeastern Cartel (CDN), is a Mexican drug cartel.
The YouTube channel Personajes México also published the video on December 26, 2022, with the title in Spanish "Topón in Nuevo Laredo, Army Special Forces against the Northeast Cartel, Troop of Hell (translated from Spanish)." The video's description in Spanish states, "The army camera captured an altercation between members of the Special Forces' "Bats" and criminals from the Northeast Cartel, Hell Troop, on December 7 in the streets of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas (translated)."
Coyote News titled the video in Spanish as "CDN members ambushed soldiers in Tamaulipas." The description states, "In recent days, a Mexican army convoy was allegedly ambushed by members of the northeastern cartel, leading to a fierce confrontation that ended with several gunmen killed."
The same video was on other social media platforms in December 2022. Logically couldn't verify the accurate location and cause of the incident. However, it confirms the footage was not shot after Guzman's arrest in January 2023.
A video shot in December 2022 in Mexico has been misrepresented as a clash between Mexico security forces and the Sinaloa cartel after Guzmán's arrest in January 2023. Therefore, we have marked this claim as false.