A Mexican footballer has apologized for organizing an “El Chapo” narco gang-themed birthday party for his 12-year-old son, days after violent unrest broke out over the arrest of a cartel boss.
Julio Cesar Dominguez said that the public was “rightly indignant” after images emerged of the children toting plastic guns and wearing balaclavas and baseball caps emblazoned with the initials of Joaquin Guzman Loera, the notorious criminal better known as El Chapo.
Some of the children also wore clothing emblazoned with the word Chapiza, the name used by a group of hitmen allied to the Sinaloa drug cartel, whose members plunged the town of Culiacan into chaos following the arrest of Ovidio Guzman Lopez, El Chapo’s son, last week.
Cartel fighters fought against the military, created flaming roadblocks with cars and shot at planes being used for commercial flights at Culiacan Airport.
At least 29 people, including 10 soldiers, were killed in the violence.
Dominguez, who plays as a center-back for Liga MX club Cruz Azul, said: “It was a mistake and I want to offer a sincere apology to the public, fans, my fellow players, clubs, the Liga MX and the Mexican Football Federation for this unfortunate act.
“I realize that these images are not what Mexico needs.”
Dominguez is reported to be under investigation by the Mexican Football Federation for glorifying violence, with possible penalties including a fine and suspension from playing.
The defender was left out of the squad for last Sunday’s 1-1 league draw to Club Tijuana after images he shared from the party went viral on social media.
Cruz Azul was reportedly considering Dominguez’s future at the club in the wake of the incident.