Clip shows Arma 3 video game, not capture of El Chapo’s son

CLAIM: Video shows an aircraft being shot at in Culiacan, Mexico, during an operation to detain Ovidio Guzman, the son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The video showing an aircraft being fired at is computer-generated and is from the video game Arma 3, a spokesperson for the game confirmed to The Associated Press. Similar scenes of the game can be found posted online.

THE FACTS: Social media users have repeatedly misrepresented the military simulation video game as real conflict footage. The AP previously debunked posts claiming that the clips from the game showed combat footage from the war in Ukraine.

The video shows an aircraft being targeted with what looks like a Close-In Weapons System (CIWS), a system used to shoot missiles, drones and aircraft.

Last week, a post on Twitter jokingly shared the video with the caption: “This not Iraq or Afghanistan but Culiacán, Mexico today.” The video received more than 600,000 views and 1,400 retweets.

Pavel Krizka, a spokesperson for Bohemia Interactive, the game development studio that creates Arma 3, told the AP in an email that the clip shows footage from the game.

“I can confirm that the video is recorded in modded Arma 3 game,” Krizka said, referring to a version of the game that has been customized.

Mexican security forces captured Ovidio Guzman, the son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, in a pre-dawn operation on Jan. 5 in the northern city of Culiacan.

The city turned into a war zone when military personnel engaged in a series of gun battles with suspected members of the Sinaloa Cartel while detaining Guzman, according to AP reporting.


This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.

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