This is how the Culiacanazo was experienced in 2019: the blackest day in the history of Sinaloa

This was the Culiacanazo in 2019 (Photo: Infobae/@Jovani Perez)
This was the Culiacanazo in 2019 (Photo: Infobae/@Jovani Perez)

A few hours ago Ovid Guzman Lopezone of the “little boys” who lead the Sinaloa cartel was recaptured andn the union of Jesús María, in the midst of a strong operation in which federal forces participated, a situation that unleashed drug blockades and shootings in different cities of Sinaloa, mainly in culiacan.

This situation brought to the present On October 17, 2019, the day the “Culiacanazo” the first failed attempt by the Federal Government headed by the president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) to arrest Ovidio Guzmán.

It was a hot and clear afternoon that marked AMLO’s mandate. The temperature was around 32 degrees. The children had already left class and the office workers were in the middle of lunch when the first shots thundered.

“I had to witness a couple of shootings when I was going for my daughter,” recalled in an interview with Infobae Mexico the academic of the Autonomous University of Sinaloa (UAS), Juan Carlos Ayala Barron. “I also saw the vans that came and went full of armed people, the burning of vehicles on the city’s bridges and the desperate flight of people,” he explained.

The most fortunate were caught by the “culiacanazo” in their homes or sheltered somewhere in the city. Most received a wave of messages, videos and audios via WhatsApp which informed them about what was happening outside. There was talk of a march of armed men that crossed Culiacán from south to north, in the opposite direction to the civic and military parades on November 20.

Other messages warned that more armed subjects were on their way from the mountains, the coast and other neighboring cities. No one knew for sure what was going on. but fear had already taken over the people of Culiacan.

The worst part was taken by those who were on the street. Women, children, students and entire families they had to take refuge in offices, schools, squares, restaurants and other people’s houses. Some hid as best they could among the cars that were parked. Others lay down on the pavement thinking that this way they would be safer from the projectiles.

“I received several teachers from the university community in my house. We gave them lodging, water and some food. They were afraid to leave. Here they spent the whole night. The next day they left but they were afraid because the cars were still burned and some other body”, recounted Ayala Barrón.

Women had to protect their children from the bullets.  (THE CULIACÁN / DARK ROOM DEBATE)
Women had to protect their children from the bullets. (THE CULIACÁN / DARK ROOM DEBATE)

It was 2:45 in the afternoon when more than thirty troops aboard trucks from the Mexican Army and the National Guard began to surround a walled building, with several buildings inside, in the Tres Ríos sector, an area of ​​high surplus value that houses more than 15 subdivisions in the capital of Sinaloa.

On that same strip of land, between the Tamazula and Humaya rivers, is what is probably the main recreational space for the “culichis”: Las Riberas Park, as well as the Plaza Fórum shopping center, the medical and nursing schools of the UAS and the headquarters of the State Attorney General’s Office.

Half an hour later, elements headed by the Drug Trafficking Information Analysis Group (GAIN) broke into that large residence and told the residents to leave immediately. Among them was the objective of the armed forces: Ovid Guzman Lopezson of Griselda López Pérez and Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, “El Chapo”.

Meanwhile outside the capital of Sinaloa was under siege. As soon as the soldiers were seen around number 2403, José Muro Pico street, a clear and precise order spread like wildfire among the legion of hitmen at the service of the Sinaloa Cartel: fight to the death and avoid at all costs the arrest of the “boss”. It was not even 3:30 p.m. and the first wounded soldiers had already been reported.

The operation left at least one person unrelated to the events dead.  (Darkroom)
The operation left at least one person unrelated to the events dead. (Darkroom)

Everyone agreed that the criminal organization showed an amazing capacity for immediate reaction and organization. It hadn’t been long after the military had secured Ovidio when a group of forty gunmen aboard eight vehicles, two of them armored and armed, already had the house surrounded. The same thing happened on a large scale: the hitmen dispersed in strategic points of the city, blocked the accesses with burned vehicles and locked up in the same perimeter ring soldiers, federal agents and the same population of Culiacán.

To prevent reinforcements by land, they blocked the highways that lead to the north and south of Sinaloa. federal forces They were only able to recover and protect one of the nine access points in the area, on Avenida Universitarios, near the Botanical Garden.

“The concentric security circles that they managed were broken, it was a mistake. The extraction method, which was planned by land, in a city controlled by themIt wasn’t the most successful. Above all because when seeing the satellite images you can see several areas near where the house of the priority objective was, where one or two helicopters could have descended, ”the security consultant and police combat and survival analyst told Infobae, Alexei Chevez Silveti.

The most unfortunate were at that time in the streets.  (AP Photo/Hector Parra)
The most unfortunate were at that time in the streets. (AP Photo/Hector Parra)

The Secretary of National Defense (SEDENA) reported that there were blockades and that vehicles from the unit itself had been used to carry out this strategy. At the same time, other groups of hit men surrounded the military bases of operations in Cosalá, El Fuerte and Cosa Rica. In the latter, 150 hit men detained 26 military elements who were escorting tank trucks, including two officers.

They also surrounded a military housing unit and threatened to execute the families of the soldiers. They even attacked the troops that were going to support. According to Sedena, they participated there on the side of the Sinaloa Cartel 20 men with automatic weapons and 4 vehicles. About twenty soldiers and beneficiaries were “affected in their property and psychologically.”

In order for their demands to be met, they took eleven troops hostage, two officers and nine enlisted men. Two were kidnapped by 15 armed individuals in the Crucero de Jesús María, near La Campana, 30 kilometers from the Tres Ríos house.

All this while an army of between 700 and 800 armed civilians, most of them young, He was driving back more than 350 members of the public order forces in different parts of the city with lead point. The army reported eight enemy vehicles, at least two of them armored and with Barrett rifles and machine guns.

One of the videos that went viral the most came from one of the authors of the fray. The image, taken from inside a van pickupshowed a walkie talkie motorola that gave an account of how the hitmen threatened to murder the families of the military if they did not release Ovidio Guzmán. “Let’s see crazy, we are going to do it or what a fart my boy. How do you want the dance? “You are being spoken to well. Drop it and go easy. Nothing will be done to you. If not, he’s going to load your dick ”. “Locate the families and the dick. They just don’t let go, son of a bitch, and you’ll see”.

51 inmates escaped from the Culiacán prison (Cuartoscuro)
51 inmates escaped from the Culiacán prison (Cuartoscuro)

As if that were not enough, at 5:00 p.m. there was a riot in the Aguaruto prison that facilitated the escape of 51 prisoners who were serving sentences for federal crimes such as drug trafficking, homicides, kidnappings, and illegal possession of firearms. It was four hours and 15 minutes, according to official reports, the time that organized crime had the city besieged. Finally, between 6:49 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., the President of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, ordered the operation to cease. “I made the decision, because we did not want to risk the people.”

The son of “El Chapo” had an arrest warrant for extradition issued on April 2, 2018 by the Federal Court of the District of Columbia, in Washington, DC, “for the crimes of organized crime for the purpose of collecting and trafficking weapons, kidnapping, collection of property and crimes against health”.

“Black Thursday” left a balance of nine dead, although the government said there had been eight. Among these were a civilian, a National Guard agent, five suspected criminals, and an inmate from the Aguaruto prison. An officer and eight wounded troop members were also reported on the Army side, one of whom lost a leg. Among the eight retained soldiers were two officers and nine troop elements, who were released in different places.

The convening power and response capacity of the criminal organization was dismissed”, explained the following day the Secretary of National Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval.


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