The man widely regarded as Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s successor as head of the Sinaloa drug cartel was captured early Tuesday morning outside Mexico City, Mexico's attorney general's office said.
Damaso Lopez, also called Damaso N and nicknamed ‘El Licenciado’ (The Licentiate), was locked in a dispute with Guzman's sons for control of the cartel's territories.
The man was key in Guzman’s 2001 escape from the Puente Grande prison in Jalisco. According to Milenio newspaper, he used to be a guard there and rapidly rose the ranks of the organization.
Dámaso López, 50, was indicted by a Virginia court in 2011 and would likely face charges there once he is extradited, the attorney general's office said.
Lopez and Guzman’s sons are blamed for the unprecedented violence in the state of Sinaloa, which has seen 541 drug-related homicides so far this year – 200 more than that same period in 2016.