This video shows the crash of a cruise ship against a pier in Italy in 2019; not in Mexico in 2023

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A video of a cruise ship crashing into a pier has been shared hundreds of times on social networks since January 6, 2023. Users claim that it is an incident caused by an armed group of the Sinaloa Cartel in the Mexican city of Mazatlán (northwest), after the capture on the 5th of that month of Ovidio Guzmán, son of drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. However, the sequence has been circulating since June 2, 2019, linked to an accident between two boats in the port of Venice, Italy.

“An armed command of the Sinaloa Cartel took over facilities in the port of Mazatlan and crashed a cruise ship against the pier, destroying several boats after Ovidio’s arrest”affirm the publications on Facebook (one, 2, 3).

Screenshot of a Facebook post made on January 9, 2023

On January 5, 2023, Ovidio Guzmán, son of the imprisoned Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and accused of drug trafficking to the United States, was caught in an operation in Culiacán, capital of the state of Sinaloa (northwest), which left 29 dead. In that and other cities of the entity, such as the port of Mazatlanthere were shootings, roadblocks and burning of vehicles.

Guzmán, considered the head of “Los Menores”, a fraction of the Sinaloa Cartel, founded four decades ago by “El Chapo”, got a court stay against immediate extradition to the United States, where he is charged with conspiracy to traffic cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana.

The 32 year old man had already been arrested on October 17, 2019 in Culiacán, but he was released by order of the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in the middle of a riot by the Guzmán criminal organization.

The origin of the video

A reverse Google search of the sequence’s keyframes led to articles published on June 2, 2019 in international media (one, 2, 3) reporting an incident in which the MSC cruise ship Opera collided with a smaller tourist boat that was docked at the Giudecca canal pier in Venice, Italy.

Italian media also recorded the incident (one, 2) and pointed out that the engine of the cruise msc opera, 275 meters long and over 65,000 tons, had a breakdown and continued to accelerate, breaking free of the guiding tug and colliding with the River Countess. The incident, he pointed the newspaper La Repubblica, left a balance of five wounded.

The entries show a sequence similar to the viralized one, but from a different angle and inverted. AFP Factual found similarities between the two, such as the “MSC” badge, the yellow structure on the pier, and the short-haired blonde woman wearing sunglasses and a striped T-shirt:

Comparison between screenshots of an article in the newspaper La Repubblica (I) and a post on Facebook, made on January 9, 2023

An image released by the Italian fire service Vigili del Fuoco to AFP shows another angle of the same incident. The description of the snapshot states: “Tourists on land were seen fleeing as the MSC Opera moved along the quayside, engine blaring, before colliding with the River Countess tour boat.”.

blankThe damaged River Countess tour ship (right) after it was struck on June 2, 2019 by the cruise ship MSC Opera (I), which lost control as it arrived to dock in Venice, Italy ( Vigili del Fuoco / Handout)

The AFP has already verified other content (one, 2, 3) with misinformation about the capture of Ovidio Guzmán in January 2023.

This video shows the crash of a cruise ship against a pier in Italy in 2019; not in Mexico in 2023