Violent shootings and the escape of many detainees from a prison have led to chaos in the Mexican city of Culiacán. Also involved was Ovidio Guzmán López, a son of former drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
This had been identified in a house from which was shot at patrolling soldiers, said the Mexican Security Minister Alfredo Durazo on Thursday evening (local time). Subsequently, several groups of organized crime were located around the house. The security forces were outnumbered and would have cut short, said Durazo.
Mexican media reported that Guzmán López had been arrested. This has not been confirmed so far. Jose Luis Gonzalez Meza, an attorney for the El Chapo family, told the AP news agency that Guzmán López was free and alive. He was informed about this by his family. He did not name further details.
20 to 30 prisoners released
Members of the Guzmán drug cartel allegedly released inmates from the Aguaruto detention center in the capital of the western Mexican state of Sinaloa. There were 20-30 inmates escaped, some of whom had been arrested again, said Minister of Public Security of Sinaloa, Cristóbal Castañeda, the television station Milenio.
Videos circulating on the Internet showed men firing automatic weapons in the streets of Culiacáns. Trucks were on fire. The authorities asked the city's population to stay at home. A game of the second Mexican professional football league was canceled because of the violence.
Culiacán is the cradle of the Sinaloa drug cartel of "El Chapo" Guzmán. He was sentenced to life imprisonment following a mammoth case in New York in July. The jury found Guzmán guilty on all charges.
According to the complaint, the cartel under his leadership allegedly smuggled nearly 155 tons of cocaine and large quantities of other drugs into the United States between 1989 and 2014. His sons are considered important figures in the internal power struggle in Kartel after the arrest of their father.
In February, US courts charged two of his sons with drug trafficking, including Ovidio Guzmán López and his brother Joaquín Guzmán López. They are accused of smuggling cocaine, chrystal meth and marijuana from Mexico into the United States from April 2008 to April 2018, the US Department of Justice said.
Mexico has been experiencing very high rates of violence for years. These are largely accounted for by gangs involved in financially lucrative crimes such as drug dealing, kidnapping and extortion.