Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and the highest-ranking member of the Department of Justice have expressed approval of Néstor Isidro Pérez Salas, also known as “El Nini,” being detained in Mexico. Salas is believed to be the leader of security and assassination operations for the Chapitos faction of the Sinaloa cartel.
The head of security is being charged with a string of violent acts, such as using Bengal tigers to attack enemies and leading a dangerous security group called Los Ninis. According to the US government, this group received military-style training in various forms of combat, such as urban warfare, specialized weapons and tactics, and sniper skills.
Biden expressed his gratitude to Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, as well as the Mexican army and special forces, for successfully capturing Pérez Salas. He also commended the courageous actions of the Mexican security forces involved in the operation to apprehend him.
Merrick Garland, the attorney general of the United States, expressed gratitude to Mexican officials for detaining a 34-year-old individual who offered security to the three sons of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, a convicted drug trafficker. The sons, Iván Guzmán Salazar, Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, and Ovidio Guzmán López, were involved in a violent shootout before Ovidio was ultimately extradited to the US earlier this year.
According to reports, Pérez Salas is believed to have played a role in instigating a violent incident that resulted in the deaths of 30 individuals, including 10 members of the military.
The United States government alleges that a group known as Los Chapitos is accountable for the production and distribution of substantial amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine into the country. Attorney General Garland stated that Pérez Salas and his team of guards have committed acts of murder, torture, and abduction against those who opposed the Chapitos.
It is reported that Pérez Salas was involved in the torture of a Mexican federal agent in 2017.
In April, an official document revealed that the Ninis would bring their captured enemies to the Chapitos’ ranches to be killed. The indictment states that some of these victims were shot, while others were fed to tigers that the Chapitos kept as pets.
The Ninis have been accused of conducting experiments on human subjects with fentanyl, causing them to overdose. The indictment states that the leaders of the Ninis, Pérez Salas and Jorge Figueroa Benitez, “tested” a woman they were supposed to kill by repeatedly injecting her with a weaker form of fentanyl until she ultimately overdosed and died.
The charges also claim that 28 individuals linked to the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel, including El Chapo’s three sons, were responsible for importing fentanyl chemicals from China.
According to US prosecutors, the Chapitos have been responsible for smuggling Fentanyl and methamphetamine into the US from Mexico, resulting in a significant number of deaths. The Chapitos claim through their lawyers that they are being unfairly blamed for these actions.
Biden and Garland expressed gratitude to the Mexican president for the arrest of Pérez Sala. This occurred a week after Biden reached a preliminary agreement with China’s president, Xi Jinping, to limit the export of fentanyl precursors to Mexico. This highlights the importance being placed on this issue in diplomatic relations.
The US government is currently trying to have Pérez Salas returned to their country for trial. Pérez Salas had a bounty of $3 million on his head and was apprehended at a fortified residence in Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa state. Mike Vigil, who previously led international operations for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, stated to the Associated Press that El Nini was “extremely unstable” and removing him from operation is beneficial for Mexico.