Killings up in Mex­i­can drug lord’s state

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

CULIACAN, Mex­ico — Mex­i­can au­thor­i­ties said Satur­day that at least 19 peo­ple died in clashes in­volv­ing armed men and se­cu­rity forces in the gang-plagued north­west­ern state of Si­naloa, where homi­cides have soared dra­mat­i­cally af­ter the cap­ture and ex­tra­di­tion of con­victed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guz­man.

The vi­o­lence be­gan with a shoot­ing Fri­day that killed two men near a depart­ment store in the town of Villa Union, about 15 miles south­east of the beach re­sort of Mazat­lan.

Of­fi­cials at­trib­uted it to war­ring drug gang mem­bers re­spon­si­ble for re­cent vi­o­lence in the state, which is home to Guz­man’s Si­naloa car­tel.

Po­lice were alerted by emer­gency calls, and mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cers en­coun­tered the sus­pected at­tack­ers as they were rid­ing in sev­eral pick­ups.

A gun­bat­tle broke out in which po­lice killed 17 sus­pects, of­fi­cials said. Five mu­nic­i­pal po­lice of­fi­cers were wounded, and were re­ported in sta­ble con­di­tion.

Dur­ing the first five months of the year, homi­cides jumped by 76 per­cent in Si­naloa state com­pared with the same pe­riod in 2016, ac­cord­ing to gov­ern­ment crime sta­tis­tics.

AP/ENRIC MARTI

An in­ves­ti­ga­tor works at a crime scene Satur­day where three peo­ple were shot in a car in Culiacan in north­west­ern Mex­ico.

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