Violent clashes between police and men of "El Chapo" after the arrest of one of his sons


The Mexican police in Culiacan, Sinaloa state, on October 17, 2019, after a clash with men of the Joaquin clan – RASHIDE FRIAS / AFP

After the arrest of one of the sons of "El Chapo" Guzman, this Thursday in his stronghold of
Culiacan (west), men of his cartel violently attacked the National Guard
Mexican, who had to retreat. According to Mexican media reports, Ovidio Guzman, the son of the Mexican drug trafficker, was released by police.

On Thursday, a unit of the National Guard was conducting a routine patrol when it was shot at from a house in Culiacan, the state capital of Sinaloa (north-west), according to Alfonso Durazo. Secretary of State for Security and Protection of Citizens. The police responded by storming the residence. A man identified as Ovidio Guzman, a son of godfather Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was arrested along with three other people, Alfonso Durazo assured.

The sons of "El Chapo" have taken control of the drug cartel since he was extradited to the United States in 2017, where he is serving a life sentence. But men of the cartel, heavily armed and "more numerous than the soldiers," then surrounded the house and launched massive attacks in various parts of the city, said Alfonso Durazo. This triggered a battle that lasted several hours, leaving streets littered with burned vehicles, while terrified residents fled in search of shelter.

The streets blocked by armed and hooded men block

"To preserve the general interest, safety and well-being of the inhabitants of Culiacan," the federal authorities "decided to suspend these actions," Alfonso Durazo said in a video message. According to Mexican media reports, the police released Ovidio Guzman and withdrew from the besieged house, which has not yet been officially confirmed. Milenio TV and Televisa, among Mexico's leading TVs, loop images of security forces fired by heavy machine guns fired by civilians, as well as burning cars and trucks.

According to the AFP correspondent, several streets in the area were partially cordoned off by armed civilians wearing hoods to hide their faces, giving the city the appearance of a battlefield. Several residents of the city, panicked, were forced to flee by abandoning their cars in the middle of the streets to protect themselves from the fire. Armed men have blocked streets and highways across the city of 750,000, putting it at a standstill, AFP journalists said. An unknown number of detainees in Aguaruto Prison in Culiaca have fled amidst chaos, the sources said.

The El Chapo cartel still active

The state government of Sinaloa, considered one of the most violent in Mexico, said "work to restore calm and order to the high-impact incidents that occurred in recent hours in various locations near Culiacan". He called on the inhabitants to "stay calm, away from the streets and very attentive to official warnings about the evolution of the situation". "El Chapo", 62, co-founder of the Sinaloa cartel, was sentenced in July in the United States to life imprisonment.

Considered to be the most powerful drug trafficker in the world, Joaquin Guzman has shipped at least 1,200 tons of cocaine over a quarter of a century to the United States. Despite his arrest, his organization continues to carry the majority of the drugs entering the United States. The Mexican president keeps reminding his will to reduce crime in his country since his election last December, but without much concrete results.

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