Sunday, June 16, 2024

12 dead after highway shootout in Sonora

Police in Sonora killed 12 suspected criminals on Saturday after they came under fire on the Hermosillo-Bahía de Kino highway, authorities said.

The shootout occurred Saturday afternoon after police detained a man identified as Carlos Humberto “N” on drug trafficking charges, according to a statement from the Sonora Attorney General’s Office (FGJE).

The convoy was attempting to liberate Carlos Humberto, the son of a powerful local crime lord. (Antonio Nieto/X)

Armed men traveling in a convoy of vehicles were apparently aiming to secure the release of Carlos Humberto, who the FGJE said is the son of Jesús Humberto “N,” a criminal leader known as “El Chubeto,” who was detained in 2021.

Carlos Humberto Limón, as the suspect has been identified in media reports, is linked to a crime group called Los Cazadores (The Hunters). The Infobae news website reported that Los Cazadores used to work with Los Chapitos, the Sinaloa Cartel faction led by sons of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

The FGJE said that state police came under attack just minutes after Carlos Humberto was detained on the outskirts of Hermosillo. It said that a “code red” alert was issued and that security forces of all three levels of government responded.

Clashes between police and the armed men subsequently occurred “at different places” on the Hermosillo-Bahía de Kino highway, the FGJE said, adding that “12 criminals were neutralized,” while seven others, some of whom were presumed to be wounded, “managed to escape.”

 

Two state police were wounded in the shootout and taken to hospital for treatment, the FGJE said, adding that their injuries weren’t life threatening.

Ten of the 12 men killed in the gun battle tested positive for cocaine, the FGJE said, adding that some of them also had marijuana, amphetamine and methamphetamine in their systems.

“Firearm residues” were detected on the bodies of all of the deceased, indicating that they fired at least one of 22 weapons that were seized by police.

Those weapons included AK-47s, AR-15s and FN Scars, as well as an extremely powerful Barrett .50 calibre rifle. Police also confiscated ammunition, other weapons paraphernalia and tactical gear, as well as six recent-model SUVs and pickup trucks.

The FGJE said Sunday that state police and municipal and federal security forces were contributing to an operation “in the rural western area of Hermosillo” aimed at locating and capturing “the seven criminals who have not yet been detained.”

Located north of Sinaloa and south of the U.S. state of Arizona, Sonora is situated along a trafficking route for both drugs and undocumented migrants.

In 2023, the state recorded the 9th highest number of homicides among Mexico’s 32 federal entities with 1,403, according to federal government data.

With reports from AFP, Infobae and Europa Press 

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