Mexican metropolis erupts in violence, residents ordered to remain indoors after drug cartel chief’s arrest

Mexican metropolis erupts in violence, residents ordered to remain indoors after drug cartel chief’s arrest

Canada’s authorities is urging Canadians in Mexico’s Sinaloa state to restrict their actions and shelter in place amid an outbreak of violence within the nation’s northwest following the arrest of a infamous drug cartel’s chief.

Mexican authorities on Thursday confirmed the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, a 32-year-old senior member of the Sinaloa Cartel and a son of jailed kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

His arrest unleashed a violent backlash by gang gunmen on Thursday that shut the airport within the metropolis of Culiacan as authorities advised residents to remain indoors. 

Movies shared on social media appeared to indicate heavy combating in a single day in Culiacan, the principle metropolis within the northern state of Sinaloa, with the sky lit up by helicopter gunfire.

The town’s airport was the goal of violence, with Mexican airline Aeromexico saying certainly one of its planes had been hit by gunfire forward of a scheduled flight to Mexico Metropolis. Nobody was damage, the airline stated, however the airport was closed till Thursday evening.

On Thursday afternoon, International Affairs Canada warned Canadians in Sinaloa to take further care, particularly within the cities of Culiacán, Mazatlán, Los Mochis and Guasave.

It suggested Canadians to keep away from demonstrations and gatherings and to not try to cross highway blockades. It additionally beneficial contacting their airline or tour operator to alter journey preparations if needed, and to watch native media and observe the directions of native authorities.

The Culiacán and Mazatlán airports have been closed and all flights have been suspended at Los Mochis airport till additional discover, International Affairs stated.

On Thursday afternoon, Aeromexico announced it was additionally suspending operations in Obregón, a six-hour drive northwest of Culiacan.

A firefighter points a fire hose at a burned-out vehicle as another firefighter walks in front of them.
Firefighters extinguish a automobile set on hearth amid violence within the metropolis of Mazatlan on Thursday. (Reuters)

Ovidio, who has turn into a key determine within the cartel because the arrest of his father, was briefly detained in 2019 however was shortly launched to finish violent retribution in Culiacan from his gang. The incident was an embarrassing setback for the federal government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Residents advised to remain indoors

On Thursday morning, safety forces have been trying to comprise a violent response to the arrest within the Culiacan space by Guzman’s associates.

Burned automobiles have been scattered on the streets and closely armed legislation enforcement patrolled in pickup vans.

“We proceed to work on controlling the scenario,” stated Cristobal Castaneda, Sinaloa’s public safety chief.

Native authorities urged folks to remain indoors and stated faculties and administrative places of work have been closed because of the violence. Road blockades had additionally been erected.

Two soldiers dressed in camouflage and helmets, and pointing guns, are crouched on either side of a pickup truck. A third soldier is standing in the bed of the pickup truck.
Troopers stand in place following heavy combating on the streets of Culiacan on Thursday. (Reuters)

“We ask the residents of Culiacan to not go away dwelling because of the blockades which have occurred in several elements of town,” Culiacan Mayor Juan de Dios Gamez wrote on Twitter.

Arrest days earlier than Trudeau, Biden go to

Ovidio’s newest seize comes earlier than a North American leaders’ summit in Mexico Metropolis subsequent week, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden will attend, and at which safety points are on the agenda.

One of many Mexican officers stated Guzman’s arrest was more likely to show a welcome addition to U.S.-Mexico cooperation on safety forward of Biden’s go to. The USA had supplied a $5 million US reward for info resulting in the arrest or conviction of Ovidio.

It’s not but clear whether or not Ovidio might be extradited to america like his father, who’s serving a life sentence at Colorado’s Supermax, probably the most safe U.S. federal jail.

A dark grey car is seen stopped on a road. Several metres away, a vehicle is on fire.
A burning automobile is seen in Culiacan on Thursday. Authorities urged folks to remain indoors, and places of work and faculties have been closed amid violence following Ovidio Guzman’s arrest. (Reuters)

Joaquin Guzman, 65, was convicted in New York in 2019 of trafficking billions of {dollars} of medication to america and conspiring to homicide enemies.

Eduardo Guerrero, director of Lantia Consulting which analyzes Mexican organized crime, stated that current stress from the Biden administration to focus on the Sinaloa Cartel had seemingly motivated Mexico to go after Guzman.

However he warned that whereas Ovidio’s seize was more likely to weaken that cartel, it may assist their primary rival, the notoriously violent Jalisco New Era Cartel.

Crackdown on fentanyl

A surge in overdose deaths in america, fuelled by the artificial opioid fentanyl, has led to elevated stress on Mexico to fight the organizations — such because the Sinaloa Cartel — chargeable for producing and delivery the drug.

The cartel is without doubt one of the world’s strongest narcotics trafficking organizations.

For Tomas Guevara, a safety knowledgeable on the Autonomous College of Sinaloa, Guzman’s arrest helps save face for Mexican legislation enforcement following the humiliation of getting to let El Chapo’s son go in 2019.

“The detention of Ovidio is lastly the end result of one thing that was deliberate three years in the past,” he stated.

A woman with slicked-back hair and glasses speaks into a microphone.
Mexico’s Secretary of Safety and Citizen Safety Rosa Icela Rodriguez speaks throughout a information convention in Mexico Metropolis on Thursday. Guzman’s arrest comes days earlier than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden go to Mexico for a summit. (Henry Romero/Reuters)

It may also herald a change in strategy by the federal government, Guevara added, after criticism from many safety specialists that Lopez Obrador was tender on the cartels, an accusation he denies.

The president argues the confrontational techniques of his predecessors have been unsuccessful and solely prompted extra bloodshed, saying he would as an alternative pursue a method of “hugs not bullets.”

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