Heavily armed criminals laid siege to Culiacan on Thursday.
Armed criminals sieged the Northern Mexican city after Ovidio Guzman Lopez’s capture. The government captured the Sinaloa cartel’s leader. He is one of the most powerful cartel leaders and a highly sought fugitive. He is also the son of Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.
Ovidio and his brother Ivan Archivaldo Guzman Slazar, known together as “Los Chapitos” both attempted to take over the Sinaloa cartel after their brother was taken to the US in 2017. El Chapo was sentenced to life in the US on drug trafficking and conspiracy charges.
According to two Mexican newspapers, the government released him due to the armed reaction to his capture. Alfonso Durazo, Mexico’s security secretary, said that the army members and the national guard had been fired upon from a house during a routine patrol in the Tres Rios neighborhood.
The authorities then returned fire and rushed inside the house. They found 4 occupants, one of which was 28 year old Guzman. Guzman’s allies then “surrounded the house with a greater force.” Additionally, “other groups carried out violent actions against citizens in various points of the city, generating a situation of panic.”
He added,“The decision was taken to retreat from the house, without Guzman to try to avoid more violence in the area and preserve the lives of our personnel and recover calm in the city.”
International Crisis Group’s Falko Ernst said,“It essentially leaves us at zero. The past administration’s hard-handed approach hasn’t worked, and neither has the new administration’s approach. This is an extremely critical moment. If the government does not define a sound reaction to this, this might trigger imitation by others.”
The Sinaloa state government asked residents to “keep calm.” The statement read,“Given the high-impact events that have been occurring in the last hours in various parts of Culiacan, we are working together … to restore order and tranquility. The message to the population at this time is to remain calm, not to go out on the streets and to wait for official news about the evolution of these events.”
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