Ovidio Guzmán, the Sinaloa Cartel boss who was released after security forces found themselves outgunned.

‘The Day We Lost the City:’ black Thursday in Culiacán subject of film

The documentary shows how the Sinaloa Cartel imposed its power on state security

Two years since “black Thursday” – the day Culiacán, Sinaloa, became a battleground – a documentary has been released recounting the events.

On October 17, 2019, the armed forces undertook an operation to capture jailed cartel boss Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán’s son, Ovidio Guzmán. Culiacán was briefly turned into a battlefield with blocked avenues, burning vehicles, convoys of armed vehicles and heavily armed men. Amid the threat of civilian turmoil, Ovidio was released.

The 34-minute The Day We Lost the City (El día que perdimos la ciudad), available on YouTube, shows how the Sinaloa Cartel imposed its power on state security, and forced the criminal protégé’s release.

The documentary was produced by the civic organization Iniciativa Sinaloa AC with the support of the Resilience Fund, a program of The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. The journalists Marcos Vizcarra, Luis Brito created the documentary, while journalist Silber Meza acted as a collaborator.

Meza posted on Twitter to explain their motivations. “Today marks two years since the painful black Thursday … To preserve the memory of what happened, we made a documentary that is being broadcast on social networks for the first time. Two years of deep sadness for the culichis [residents of Culiacán] who aspire to have a city in peace,” he said.

He added that it was important to dispel myths about the actions of the cartel. “There was a social denial that the Sinaloa Cartel decided to act against its own people, the public, in order to save one of its leaders,” he said.

Experts consulted by the newspaper El Universal said there was no clarity about the security measures which had been taken to avoid a repeat of the events. They described the ongoing shock of society left fragile by the day known locally as the culiacanazo.

With reports from El Universal 

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