The U.S. State Department Thursday issued a travel advisory warning Americans not to travel to the Mexican state of Sinaloa.
State department officials with the U.S. Consulate in Hermosillo reported gunfire, roadblocks and fires in the Sinaloa cities of Culiacan, Los Mochis and Guasave. Gov. Ruben Rocha advised the public to shelter in place.
“U.S. citizens throughout Sinaloa should remain alert for potential violence throughout the state,” state dept. spokesman Ned Price warned. “The U.S. Consulate General reminds U.S. citizens that Sinaloa is classified as Level 4: Do Not Travel in the State Department’s travel advisory for Mexico.”
The Mexican state is the home base for the notorious Sinaloa Cartel whose leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was arrested and extradited to the United States several years ago, and he’s now incarcerated in a maximum security federal prison in Colorado.
Guzman’s son Ovidio was captured by Mexican authorities Thursday, ahead of a visit to the country by U.S. President Joe Biden. His arrest was followed by retaliatory attacks from cartel gunmen in the northern city of Culiacán, according to a report from The Guardian.
The report cited one resident’s claim that heavy fighting raged for hours after Guzmán was arrested in the city early Thursday.
“They caught him at about 4am, and since then the shooting hasn’t stopped,” the resident reportedly said. “It’s been a real mess – they’re shooting up in the air trying to bring down the [police] helicopters. The whole town is a mess.”
Cartel members also reportedly seized a Red Cross ambulance, medical personnel from hospitals — to treat wounded cartel members — threatened reporters, and stole their vehicles.
Gov. Rocha announced 12 clashes with state security forces, 25 reported acts of looting and added 250 vehicles had been set on fire and used to block roads, according to a report from The Epoch Times. Also, eight civilians were hurt in the violence, he reportedly said.
“Tomorrow we think we will be able to work normally,” he said, according to the report.
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