Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Head of Sinaloa state police murdered on Culiacán-Los Mochis highway

The chief of Sinaloa’s state police was shot and killed Monday morning on the Culiacán-Los Mochis highway near the city of Guamúchil.

Joel Ernesto Soto was attacked while traveling alone at around 7:30, according to security sources.

He had escaped uninjured from an attempt on May 6 in Mazatlán, when suspected members of the Sinaloa Cartel attacked a state police convoy.

The state minister for public security, Cristóbal Castañeda, denounced the act of “cowardly aggression” and expressed his condolences to Soto’s family. “In a cowardly attack this morning, unfortunately, the director of the state police … lost his life. … Our condolences to the family and the people of Sinaloa who have lost a great man,” he wrote on Twitter.

Security in the state was reinforced after the May 6 attack, with patrols increased to monitor the main cities. The National Guard began an operation alongside state police on May 15.

In 1981, Soto joined the army, studying at the Heroico Colegio Militar in Mexico City and the Military Intelligence School.

In December 2018 he was appointed as director of the state police, having previously served as police chief in Mazatlán in 2017 and 2018.

Sources: Río Doce (sp), Reforma (sp), Infobae (sp), El País (sp)

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