(MEXICO CITY) — The Mexican government has admitted that it mistakenly identified the man they arrested as the son of the nation’s most-wanted drug lord, the BBC reports.
Officials on Thursday paraded a man they believed to be Jesus Alfredo Guzman, son of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, before the media. Officials acknowledged the arrest as one of the most important in years. But the man they took into custody was a car salesman named Felix Beltran Leon, according to the attorney general’s office.
A lawyer who claimed to speak for the Guzman family denied that the suspect was in fact the son of “El Chapo.” Leon’s mother also spoke to journalists and denied any connection to the Sinaloa cartel or Joaquin Guzman. After several hours of identity tests, the Calderon government admitted its mistake, suffering an embarrassing blow, the BBC says.
The Sinaloa cartel controls much of the drug trade into the United States and is notorious as one of Mexico’s most powerful organized crime groups.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chris Williams and Jason Hanna, CNN
Evan McKirdy, Tim Hume and James Masters, CNN
Angela Dewan, CNN
Kareem Khadder, CNN