Soldiers and armed civilians became entangled in firefights in the Mexican city of Culiacán on Thursday night on Friday, when a son of infamous drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, nicknamed 'El Chapo', was arrested. Local authorities have released the son to "protect lives."
The son, named Ovidio Guzmán, would play an important role in the Mexican Sinaloa cartel, which led his father to his arrest. The cartel is responsible for, among other things, the smuggling of cocaine and heroin to the United States.
According to Mexican media, the firefight started as a result of the arrest and soldiers were attacked by civilians with automatic firearms.
Vehicles and a gas station were set on fire and gunmen drove through the city in trucks. Passers-by had to flee to a local supermarket or to shelters in residential areas.
There is not yet an official statement about possible victims, but photos of the battles reveal apparently dead bodies in the street.
During the chaos in Culiacán, a number of prisoners are said to have escaped from a prison in the area. How many people managed to get away and how this could happen is not yet known.
'El Chapo' is serving a life sentence
Drug baron Joaquín Guzman was sentenced in July 2019 in the United States to a life sentence for drug trafficking, leadership of a criminal organization and multiple murders.
In addition to the life sentence, thirty years in prison for the use of firearms and a periodic penalty payment of 10.7 billion euros.
Guzman escaped from two heavily guarded prisons in Mexico in 2001 and 2015. The first time he escaped by crawling into a laundry basket, the second time he managed to get away through a 1.5 kilometer long tunnel that had been dug for him.
After the conviction of Guzman, his sons would play an important role in their father's cartel.
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