A footballer is facing outrage after throwing a birthday party for his 12-year-old son based around the drug lord El Chapo.
Mexican professional footballer Julio Cesar ‘Cata’ Dominguez, 35 – a defender for Liga MX club Cruz Azul – was later forced to apologise for the bash.
Photos from the party show children wearing face masks and aiming toy guns and the camera like members of a drug gang.
The birthday baseball caps they are wearing are saying ‘Chapiza’, the nickname of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel once ruled by El Chapo.
Some can be seen to sport the initials ‘JGL’, apparently a reference to Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera, 65, El Chapo’s real name.
The birthday party came just days after a wave of cartel-linked violence during the arrest of El Chapo’s son Ovidio Guzman rocked Mexico and left 29 people dead.
And it has prompted an investigation into the footballer, who now reportedly faces sanctions, including a hefty fine.
The party was also reportedly attended by other footballers, including Carlos Rodriguez, Rodolfo Rotondi, Erik Lira, Ivan Morales, Jorge Garcia and Alonso Escoboza.
They also reportedly face fines.
In light of the outrage caused by the birthday bash photos, ‘Cata’ Dominguez took to social media to apologise, saying: “I offer a sincere apology for the Images disseminated on my social networks in relation to a children’s party.
“I recognise 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 sports among the younger generations, in addition to the values and principles of an exemplary institution, such as the Cruz Azul Football Club.”
El Chapo is currently serving a life sentence for drug offences at a maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, USA.