Mexican security forces had a son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman outside a house on his knees against a wall before they were forced to back off and let him go as gunmen of his Sinaloa cartel shot up the western city of Culiacan.
Video presented by Mexico’s defence secretary showed security forces trying to arrest Ovidio Guzman Lopez on 17 October – in an operation that eventually had to be aborted.
Bodycam video, filmed by soldiers, shows Guzman exit the house with his hands up. Soldiers order him to call off the attacks around the city as gunfire is heard in the background. Guzman called his brother Archivaldo Ivan Guzman Salazar on his mobile phone and told him to stop the chaos. Archivaldo refused and shouted threats against the soldiers and their families.
The attacks continued and eight minutes later the first wounded soldiers were reported. Thirteen people were killed in gunbattles around the city.
Four hours after the operation began, officials in Mexico City ordered the troops to withdraw to avoid more bloodshed. The failure of the operation has embarrassed the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Authorities were still in the process of obtaining a search warrant when the operation began outside a large home where Guzman had been located. As they moved on the house, gunmen began attacking those involved in the operation, quickly outmaneouvring them.
Military planners had four additional teams forming an outer security ring for the operation, but the cartel’s gunmen cut off the routes for three of them preventing additional support from arriving.
Meanwhile, the cartel sent convoys of gunmen to several military installations around the city to attack soldiers and their families. In all, two officers and nine soldiers were taken hostage by the cartel, according to officials.
Once Guzman was released, all the military personnel were let go as well, and the team that had captured Guzman left. It was unclear was who was negotiating with the cartel during the confrontation.
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