El Chapo’s sons don’t lead lives off the radar. In fact, his son Ivan Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar, said to be the most powerful of the Los Chapitos (Little Chapos/Little Shorties) who run El Chapo’s cartel, frequently posts photos showcasing his ostentatious lifestyle on social media. That’s true of his other brothers too.
Ivan blurs faces out of the photos that he posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but that’s the only nod to the secrecy he must maintain. On pages widely attributed to him, he highlights luxury cars, trips, private planes, alcohol, and women. Some of El Chapo’s friends and associates blatantly post photos of weapons on social media.
El Chapo’s sons hit the headlines in October 2019 when the Mexican military briefly arrested Ivan and his younger half-brother, Ovidio Guzman Lopez. However, according to The New York Times, Ivan was freed by cartel gunman who overpowered his captors. He then orchestrated a bloody and high-profile show of violence in Culiacan, Sinaloa that eventually pressured the Mexican government to let Ovidio go. Both brothers are now free.
Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as the drug lord “El Chapo,” is the father to more than a dozen children, including the group of sons known as “Los Chapitos.” After a power battle, the Los Chapitos seized control of the ruthless and powerful Sinaloa cartel after El Chapo’s incarceration in the United States. One photo on Ivan’s Twitter account reads, “THANKS FOR THOSE WHO CONCERN MY TATA IS ALWAYS IN THE CHINGASO.” Tata means father. Chingao means to fight.
Most sites put the number of El Chapo kids at between 12 and 15. Some of the El Chapo offspring, especially his children from his first wife, are flashier and, thus, more well-known than others. Some of El Chapo’s kids were killed in the past. One was briefly taken hostage by another cartel.
In 2018, The New York Post reported that U.S. government officials had stated “… The defendant’s (El Chapo’s) sons remain in charge of his vast drug trafficking empire.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Instagram, Facebook & Twitter Accounts in Ivan Archivaldo’s Name Show Luxury Cars & Alcohol
The Instagram account widely attributed to Ivan Archivaldo has more than 220,000 Instagram followers. The account’s Instagram stories showcase partying with attractive, scantily clad women, high-end alcohol like Moet Chandon, and gambling trips. It’s a life of beaches and private planes and boxing matches in Las Vegas.
The license plates are blurred in the photos.
On Twitter, Ivan often interacts with an account in the name of his brother Jesus Alfredo, but the latter’s account was suspended by Twitter. That’s not true of the Twitter account in Ivan’s name (confirmed by Vocativ). His posts say things like “When we are great in humility, we are closer to the great” in Spanish.
One photo shows the keys to his luxury cars.
A photo shows his face partially obscured.
El Chapo’s sons Ivan Archivaldo and Jesus Alfredo are his children with his first wife María Alejandrina Salazar Hernández, according to Fox News. The New York Post claims that Ivan and Jesus were El Chapo’s favorite sons and the ones he wanted to take over the cartel. He married their mother first, in 1977. Along with Ovidio and his brother Joaquin Lopez (sons of El Chapo’s second – or some say third – wife, Griselda Lopez Perez), they make up Los Chapitos, the band of El Chapo sons in control of the drug enterprise, some sites say. Others say only Ivan and Jesus are considered Los Chapitos because they have more power. El Chapo had a third son with his first wife, Cesar, but he was killed.
There are Twitter and Instagram pages in the names of Jesus Alfredo. You can find photos of El Chapo on the Instagram page.
One photo shows a bear rug with luggage.
There’s a Twitter page in Ovidio’s name. The profile reads, “I am not fancy and sports cars, I like horses and fine roosters, always with one…” The cover photo is a gun. “Turning to say hello, take care of me, God bless you and here we go,” a photo says showing a car with a gun.
The weapon in a luxury car angle seems to be a frequent theme.
According to Vice, cartel member José Aréchiga Gamboa, “El Chino Ántrax,” is “from the Anthrax hit squad.” He’s also on Instagram, posting ostentatious photos.
He either blurs out or doesn’t show his face.
Vice reports that Serafin Zambada, is the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zamabada, “El Chapo’s partner.” He’s on Twitter. The Twitter profile in his name bluntly states, “Serafín Zambada is a Mexican drug trafficker and son of Ismael El Mayo Zambada, one of the top leaders of the Sinaloa cartel.” A Facebook page in his name is now deleted. According to Vice, it previously showed “a man cut open in the stomach, bleeding out,” whom he called a “rat.”
One post on the Twitter page reads, “♫ “Many tastes I have in life / and since childhood I like sports / I also like weapons a lot” ♫”
InSight Crime reports that little is known about Joaquín Guzmán López. As for Ovidio and two of El Chapo’s other sons, Iván Archivaldo, and Jesús Alfredo, they were deeply involved in a successful power battle within the cartel against El Chapo’s “former right-hand man, Dámaso López Núñez, alias Licenciado,” the site reports. The latter was extradited to the United States in 2018, however, and this “solidified the sons’ place at the top of the organization” along with an El Chapo ally, Ismael Zambada Garcia.
One of the “most conspicuous” of El Chapo’s children is Ivan Guzman. Biography.com reports that he leads an “extravagant playboy lifestyle full of cars, wild animals, guns and parties.” He often posts on social media. Not staying low key comes with risks. Ivan’s brother Alfredo was briefly captured by the Jalisco Cartel but was released.
“Ivan Archivaldo was, I believe, a bit crazy,” Raul Benitez, a security specialist, told AP. “He spent all his time posting things on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter. A serious narco doesn’t do that.”
READ NEXT: Ovidio Guzman Lopez.