Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman’s son, Ovidio, escaped from arrest only a few hours after his capture by the Mexican security forces.
Ovidio Guzman Lopez, 28, whose father is most commonly known as El Chapo, was freed along with 50 other inmates after the police were outnumbered by Sinaola cartel’s gunmen in a bloody firefight that left bodies lying in the street and cars burning in Culiacan, the stronghold of the cartel and the capital of the Sinaloa.
Mexican authorities had to release Guzman for concerns of civilian deaths and more violence, according to local reports.
The arrest sparked chaos in Mexico, with reports of gunfire in broad daylight and gang members driving trucks with machine guns in the back.
Sinaloa security chief Cristobal Castaneda told the Televisa network two people had been killed and 21 injured, advising residents not to leave their homes.
Mexico’s Public Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said organized criminal groups then attacked several places to create panic in Culiacan.
Videos and images on social media show gunmen, using assault weapons, blocking streets and burning trucks. Continuous gunfire could be heard in the background in several videos.
Amid the chaos, between 20 – 30 prisoners escaped, according to local media outlet Milenio.
Authorities are warning people to stay off the streets as the shootouts continue to ravage the city. People are reportedly taking cover in local businesses.
“We are trying to recover the security of the city of Culiacan,” Sinaloa Governor Quirino Ordaz Coppel wrote on Twitter. “I am asking you all to stay safe and be vigilant.”
Local government canceled all school and educational activities Friday.
El Chapo was arrested in 2016 and is in prison in the U.S. He is the former leader of the Sinaloa cartel, which was founded in Culiacan.
- Vakkas Dogantekin contributed to this story from Ankara
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