On Sunday (January 8), Mexican fútbol player Julio César Domínguez, who plays for the Liga MX club Cruz Azul, posted an apology on his Instagram page for throwing an El Chapo-themed birthday party for his 12-year-old son after heavy criticism.
“Through this medium, I offer a sincere apology for the images disseminated on my social networks in relation to a children’s party,” wrote Domínguez, who goes by the nickname Cata. “I acknowledge that these do not contribute to creating a better impression of Mexico and that neither I nor my family promote or justify any kind of violence. We are people who promote sport in the new generations, in addition to the values and principles of an exemplary institution, such as the Cruz Azul Fútbol Club.”
According to ESPN Mexico, Cruz Azul has spoken with Domínguez and is currently evaluating whether he should be part of the club moving forward. As of press time, no decision has been made, but Domínguez did not play in Cruz Azul’s match on Sunday.
Domínguez began to receive criticism once photos from the party hit social media. They featured children wearing black caps with “Chapiza” and “JGL.” “Chapiza” is the nickname of the Sinaloa Cartel, which was run by El Chapo until his third arrest in 2016. “JGL” are the initials of El Chapo’s name, Joaquín Guzmán Loera.
Other photos from the party showed children holding fake weapons. Some were wearing shirts from Cruz Azul. There was also a sign at the party that read, “War Zone.” Other Cruz Azul players who were reportedly at the party include Carlos Rotondi, Carlos Rodríguez, Erick Lira, Iván Morales and Jesús Escoboza.
The children’s party comes on the heels of the arrest of El Chapo’s son and drug cartel boss, Ovidio Guzman. During Guzman’s arrest, 19 gang members and 10 military personnel were killed. This led some fans to question Julio César Domínguez and his continued role in Cruz Azul, especially after seemingly perpetuating Narco culture.