Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sinaloa Cartel infighting has displaced nearly 300 families

Territorial disputes in the mountains of Sinaloa between relatives of infamous drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and other suspected criminals has displaced at least 295 families since July.

According to the Sinaloa Secretariat of Social Development, the affected families lived in seven different towns in Badiraguato, a municipality located about 80 kilometers north of the state capital Culiacán.

El Chapo’s brother Aureliano Guzmán and sons Jesús and Iván Guzmán are involved in a dispute for control of the region, the newspaper Reforma reported.

Residents of three of the towns, San Javier, San Javier de Arriba and Potrerillos, said the fighting began last year with an attack by the three men against Héctor Román.

Román, also known as “El Pinto,” was independently involved in the cultivation and trafficking of marijuana and opium poppies in an area of Badiraguato near the border with Chihuahua, Reforma said.

He fled the municipality, triggering an exodus of families amid threats, disappearances and murders.

“The residents didn’t participate in the dispute but they’re all in the middle of it and they’re better off leaving because up there they don’t let them work,” one displaced person said.

The three Guzmán men have also clashed with other armed groups that are also vying for control of Badiraguato, part of the broader drug producing region known as the Golden Triangle.

Eleven deaths were reported in one confrontation in November 2017.

The Sinaloa Secretariat of Social Development said the displaced families, who are now living in Culiacán, have been supported in their transition to residence in the state capital with food aid, educational assistance and access to temporary employment.

El Chapo’s most recent arrest in 2016 led to an increase in violence in several parts of Mexico due to infighting in the Sinaloa Cartel and the ambition of other criminal organizations to fill the power vacuum.

He was extradited to the United States in January 2017 and is scheduled to face trial next month.

Source: Reforma (sp)
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