Sinaloa public safety chief Cristobal Castaneda said police were working on “controlling the situation” as cartel members continued to destroy parts of the city and open fire on the military.
A similar tactic was used in 2019 when Lopez was last arrested. About 700 cartel gunmen took hostages – including 8 Mexican soldiers – in an apartment complex housing the families of government employees.
Eventually, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered the criminal’s release to prevent further deaths.
Culiacan Mayor Juan de Dios Gamez said on Thursday: “We ask the citizens of Culiacan not to leave home due to the blockades that have occurred in different parts of the city.”
Local schools and government offices were forced to shut down for the day as the military and police struggled to contain the violence.
Videos posted on social media showed members of the Sinaloa Cartel blocking roads, lighting cars on fire and shooting at military planes.
Later in the day, a passenger on an Aeromexico flight to Mexico City was hit by cartel bullets as the gunmen extended their violence to civilians.
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