Rally pushes for drug boss’s release
CULIACAN, Mexico — Authorities are investigating a march in which hundreds demanded the release of cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, a display of support in Sinaloa state which the crime boss is said to control.
Gov. Mario Lopez Valdez told Televisa Thursday that officials suspect Guzman’s family and friends organized the march.
“We don’t know at this time, but the investigation should reveal that,” Lopez said.
Hundreds of people marched Wednesday night demanding that Mexican authorities free the boss of the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel. Norteno musicians played trumpets while high school students in uniforms held up signs reading “We want Chapo free” and “We Love Chapo” as they paraded in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, in northwestern Mexico.
Demonstrators said they opposed any attempt to extradite Guzman to the U.S.
Demonstrators threw water bottles as police tried to scatter the protest. Officers responded with tear gas and took some protesters into custody.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced Thursday it was imposing financial penalties against seven people and 10 businesses accused of having ties to Guzman’s cartel.