Evidence of last night's gunfire. Evidence of last night's gunfire.

Faceoff in Mazatlán: 19 dead, 5 wounded

All the dead are presumed criminals, believed fighting for control of the plaza

Nineteen presumed criminal gang members are dead and five police officers wounded after a violent confrontation last night in Mazatlán.


It began shortly after 8:00pm when a routine municipal police patrol encountered four trucks carrying armed men in Villa Unión, state security officials said.

Police said the gunmen opened fire then fled. Police, joined by armed forces personnel, gave chase and a gun battle ensued eight kilometers later in the community of Aguaje de Costilla where the 17 armed civilians were killed.

None of the police officers was seriously hurt.

Four vehicles, 12 AK-47s, two AR-15s and other weapons were seized.

Two other presumed gangsters were killed earlier outside the Coppel department store in José López Portillo, said Mazatlán police chief Joel Ernesto Soto, who believes their killing triggered the night’s events.

He did not discount the possibility that three narco-banners erected Wednesday were related. “They could be related, but we don’t know. The incident began when they assassinated two people outside Coppel.”

The banners carrying warnings between warring criminal groups were put up in Villa Unión, El Roble and El Walamo.

Violence this year in Sinaloa resulted in more than 760 assassinations as of early June, mostly a result of internal feuding for control within the Sinaloa Cartel that followed the capture last year of its former leader, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

The homicide number is the highest seen since 2011, according to the state’s Security Secretariat.

Source: Animal Político (sp), Milenio (sp), Ríodoce (sp)

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  • Gregory Custer

    Please change this headline! Villa Union and Aguaje are NOT the Mazatlan that vacationers experience. You make this sound like vacationers in the zona dorada or historic center were potentially at risk. This was clearly not the case.

    • Normando

      I agree. I was in Villa Union last March 2017. It is nearly 40 miles from Mazatlan. Don’t give the Maz a bad rap for this scenario. These incidents can happen all over MX now. The Cartels don’t want to mess with touristas. Just drive, fly, and mind your own. Don’t go places after dark you don’t know. Don’t get drunk in public, be courteous, and mannerly. Don’t flash your bling. Don’t drive anything newer than 2000. Pay in pesos only……you will be fine. You are not invisible, so be frio!

  • Don J Aitken

    I agree , the headline is misleading please be more specific , This could frighten Snowbirds and Vacationers and seriously do economic damage to Mazatlan’s economy.

  • Eric N Schweitzer

    I suppose the only good thing about this were the 19 gang members are dead. But like cockroaches more will take their place.

  • mikegre

    Failed state. Sad.

    • AbueloLoco

      State police forces prevailing against criminals in a gun battle is hardly an indicator of a failed state. Another hypocritical, ignorant American posting on a news site about a country they hate. Sad.

  • Güerito

    Villa Union is about 15 miles from the center of Mazatlán.

  • Güerito

    I suspect in a few months we’ll begin seeing reports about how most of these 19 were executed after surrendering or while in custody. It’s happened in just about every case where the kill ratio is as lopsided, and with no detainees, as here.

  • Dallas Autery Y Rocio Heredia

    The Director of ISSTE, a high ranking nurse and many others not involved in the drug trade that have been killed here in the Mazatlan area would disagree with you.