Mexican Troops Asked El Chapo’s Son to Halt Shootout

Lorena Rios

(Bloomberg) -- Mexican troops pleaded with the son of narco kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to make a phone call to stop shootouts that were engulfing the city where he was detained, video released by the country’s presidency showed.

In a sign of how much control the Sinaloa Cartel was able to wield over Mexican security forces the day they detained and then released Ovidio Guzman Lopez, the video shows them desperately asking him to call off the violence.

Guzman Lopez is seen shouting into his phone: “Stop everything. Be calm. It’s done.” But his brother refused to stop, and proceeded to make threats to military forces, National Defense Minister Cresencio Sandoval said at a press conference Wednesday morning.

Standing next to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the security cabinet presented a minute-by-minute account of the botched operation to capture Guzman Lopez in Culiacan, Sinaloa, on October 17 . The details reveal how the cartel once run by El Chapo was able to take control of an entire city for nearly five hours.

Read More: Mexicans Outraged After Cornered Son of ‘El Chapo’ Released

Sandoval said the operation was carried out to comply with an order to extradite Guzman Lopez to the U.S., but was interrupted when criminal groups blocked streets to prevent the movement of military forces. He showed videos of civilians fleeing from buses parked in the middle of the street. Vehicles shooting .50-caliber weapons blocked the streets of the city, while gunmen patrolled the streets.

The security cabinet called off the operation and released Guzman Lopez after criminal groups had shot at a military aircraft with machine guns, stolen a Humvee and weapons, all while holding soldiers and police officers captive. The clash left 19 security forces injured and eight people dead.

Alfonso Durazo, Mexico’s public security chief, is scheduled to testify before the Senate on November 5.

(Updates with Durazo scheduled to testify in final paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Lorena Rios in Mexico City at lriost@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Walter Brandimarte

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