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MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities on Thursday announced the arrest of the son of drug lord El Chapo.

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Ovidio Guzmán López was arrested in an early morning operation in the northwestern city of Culiacán, The New York Times reported. Guzmán is the son of Joaquín Guzmán Loera, known as El Chapo. He was transferred to a special prosecutor’s office in Mexico City, according to the newspaper.

At a news conference, Mexican Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval called Guzmán’s arrest a “powerful blow” to drug cartels, The Washington Post reported.

The arrest came three years after the Mexican army detained Guzmán but then released him as Sinaloa cartel gunmen seized control of much of Culiacán, according to the newspaper.

Guzmán’s arrest on Thursday was the result of six months of reconnaissance and surveillance in the cartel’s territory, according to The Associated Press. National Guard troops coordinated with the army to establish a perimeter around suspicious vehicles and forced the occupants to exit them. Guzmán was one of the people identified.

Cartel members set up 19 roadblocks at various sites, including Culiacán’s airport and outside the local army base, Sandoval said. The Air Force still managed to whisk Guzmán to Mexico City, the AP reported.

The arrest gave Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a public relations win days before he was to meet with President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a North American Leaders Summit in Mexico City, the Times reported.

However, some skeptics said the arrest likely would not curtail drug activities in Mexico.

“It is a message to the United States that Mexico continues the war against drugs,” Alejandro Hope, a security analyst in Mexico City, told the Times. “Does it change the structure of the Sinaloa cartel? No. Will it have an impact on drug trafficking? No. Will it reduce violence? No.”

“I think (the arrest is) absolutely intentional and performative,” John Feeley, a former senior U.S. diplomat in Mexico, told the Post.

Mexican officials denied Feeley’s comments.

“An operation like this takes lots of planning, and we can’t choose the dates of something like this,” Roberto Velasco, a senior foreign ministry official, told the newspaper.