An intense gunfight raged in the capital of Mexico’s Sinaloa state Thursday. The fight followed after security forces located one of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s sons. The son in question is wanted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges.
Mexican security secretary Alfonso Durazo said 30 members of the National Guard and army were patrolling in Culiacan when they were fired on from a house. They repelled the attack and apprehended Ovidio Guzman Lopez inside the house.
So why, hand back?
The house was then surrounded by heavily armed gunmen who had “a greater force”. Authorities thus decided to suspend the operation, Durazo said. Security forces released Ovidio Guzman to protect lives, Durazo said, Reuters reported.
The Chapo’s Indicted in Washington
Ovidio was not one of the jailed Mexican drug lord’s best-known sons. Ivan Archivaldo Guzman and Jesus Alfredo Guzman are known as “los Chapitos,” or “the little Chapos,”. They run their father’s Sinaloa Cartel together with Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, or so authorities conclude.
But a Washington. grand jury indicted Ovidio Guzman and his fourth brother in 2018. The jury charged both men for allegedly trafficking cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.
Thursday’s discovery of Ovidio ushered in serious mayhem. Local media reported that armed civilians in trucks roared through Culiacan’s center shooting sporadically. The men discharged rounds from what seemed like .50-caliber sniper rifles and machine guns. There was a heavy deployment of Mexican security forces.
Civilians panic, flee
Videos published on social media showed a scene resembling a war zone. Videos showed gunmen on face masks firing mounted machine guns as vehicles burned. People ran for cover as machine-gun fire rattled around them. Drivers drove in reverse frantically to move away from the clashes. Some drivers rolled under their stationary cars for cover.
Sinaloa public safety director Cristobal Castaneda updated Milenio television about events. He mentioned the army launched the operation Thursday afternoon. Soon afterward, government surveillance cameras alerted authorities that gunmen in vehicles were circulating in Culiacan.
Movie scene Violence
Castaneda said gunmen blocked streets with burning vehicles. This is a common tactic to make it difficult for security forces to maneuver. Simultaneously, some 20 to 30 prisoners escaped prison. Authorities soon recaptured some of the escapees, he said.
State officials asked residents to avoid going out in parts of the city.
Sinaloa’s soccer club Dorados announced that it had canceled its game Thursday over security concerns.
Sinaloa home to cartel founded by El Chapo
Sinaloa is home to the cartel by the same name, which was led by “El Chapo” Guzman. The United States gave Guzman a life sentence in July. He has many children.
After Guzman’s third arrest in 2016, an internal battle for succession began playing out. The arrest of Damaso Lopez Nunez and his son Serrano ended the battle. Both had led a rival faction.
Since then “Los Chapitos” and Zambada run the cartel, popular opinion holds.