Mexico gives account of violence after 'Chapo' son nabbed
The operation to detain Ovidio Guzman, the son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, unleashed firefights that turned the northern city of Culiacan into a war zone with 30 dead, authorities said on Jan. 6.
In a blow-by-blow description of the battles Thursday that killed 10 military personnel and 19 suspected members of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said cartel gunmen opened fire on troops with a half-dozen .50-caliber machine guns.
The army responded by calling in Blackhawk helicopter gunships to attack a convoy of 25 cartel vehicles, including truck-mounted cartel gun platforms. The running shootouts also killed one Culiacan policeman, and wounded 17 police officers and 35 military personnel.
The cartel then opened fire on the military aircraft, forcing two of them down with "a significant number of impacts" in each of the two aircraft, Sandoval said. The gang then sent hordes of gunmen to attack fixed-wing aircraft, both military and civilian, at the city's international airport.
One civilian airliner was hit. The gunmen also shot up airport buildings in a bid to prevent authorities from flying the captured cartel boss out of the city. But, Sandoval said, authorities anticipating the resistance had loaded Ovidio Guzman onto a military helicopter to fly him back to Mexico City.
The Mexican administration bagged the high-profile cartel figure days before hosting U.S. President Joe Biden.
Samuel González, who founded Mexico's special prosecutor's office for organized crime in the 1990s, said Guzmán's capture was a "gift" ahead of Biden's visit. The Mexican government "is working to have a calm visit," he said.
Juan Carlos Ayala, a Culiacan resident and Sinaloa...
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