Mexican Police: We, Uh, Got the Wrong Guy

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This is slightly embarrassing. Mexican authorities celebrated the arrest of a man they claimed to be the son a powerful drug cartel leader on Thursday, but then admitted they were wrong and had actually arrested a car salesman.

The BBC explains the mix-up

On Thursday officials paraded before the media a man they said was Jesus Alfredo Guzman, whose father leads the powerful Sinaloa cartel.

But the arrested man was in fact Felix Beltran Leon, a car salesman, the attorney general's office said.

Jesus Alfredo Guzman is the son of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who is the leader of the hugely powerful Sinaloa cartel. The older Guzman has been on the run since he broke out of prison in a laundry basket in 2001, while his son is now thought to be on of the more powerful men in the Sinaloa organization. 

After the Mexican police paraded Leon Beltran in front of the media when they announced his arrest, Beltran's mother held a press conference saying her son was not, in fact, the son of a Mexican drug lord and offered pictures as evidence. A lawyer for the Guzman family also said the man arrested by Mexican police wasn't a Guzman. 

According to the L.A. Times, Mexican officials didn't offer an explanation as to how they came to think Leon Beltran was actually Guzman, but when they originally announced his arrest, they credited "intelligence work" as to how they came to find him. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.