Gun battles rock Mexican city after El Chapo’s son detained

A member of the Mexican National Guard works at the scene of the murder of a man in the state of Mexico on September 17, 2019.

Jair Cabrera Torres | picture alliance | Getty Images

Heavy gunfire on Thursday rocked several neighborhoods in the Mexican city of Culiacan, home to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel, after security forces detained a son of the notorious kingpin.

Mexican networks Televisa and Milenio both said security forces had confirmed the capture of Ovidio Guzman, who, along with his brothers, is believed to be influential in the cartel since their father was jailed in the United States.

A senior government source told Reuters the reports were correct. Milenio broadcast a photograph that it said showed Ovidio Guzman in detention.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters his security cabinet would give information about the situation in Sinaloa later on Thursday.

State police confirmed to Reuters that several prisoners escaped from a prison during the chaos, which lasted for hours. Video footage showed a group of at least 20 people running in the streets. It was not immediately clear how many had escaped.

Vehicles and a petrol station were set on fire while cartel gunmen roamed the city in trucks, at least one of which was armed with a mounted machine gun, videos posted on social media showed. Civilians hid in the aisles of a supermarket, while other ran for cover in leafy suburban streets.

State police said there were no confirmed deaths, although two videos broadcast on Milenio showed men lying in the streets, apparently lifeless.

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