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Mexican forces kill 19 purported cartel hitmen during firefight in Mazatlan, Sinaloa: WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

July 2, 2017  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Mexican forces kill 19 purported cartel hitmen during firefight in Mazatlan, Sinaloa: WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT

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Mexican Authorities say clashes between military forces and armed cartel gunmen resulted in the deaths of 19 purported hitmen in the northwestern state of Sinaloa on Friday night.

According to Proceso, the gun battle occurred in a rural area located just outside the resort city of Mazatlan.

Officials said the violence was sparked by the execution of two individuals by a group of armed men near a department store in the neighboring town of Villa Union.

At a news conference, Genaro Casillas, the State’s Secretary of Public Security attributed the violence to an ongoing turf war between rival drug groups.

Authorities say 19 purported gunmen were killed in a shootout in Mazatlan, Sinaloa on Friday

The shootout occurred around 9 p.m. on Friday

Although Casillas wouldn’t identify which group was involved, Mazatlan and the surrounding municipalities is a known stronghold of the Sinaloa Cartel, once led by imprisoned Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.

Officials said military, state, and federal police responded to reports of a shooting in the Villa Union and encountered the convoy of gunmen traveling in several SUVs reportedly responsible for the earlier double homicide.

Security forces killed 17 purported gunmen during an ensuing gun battle. Five municipal police officers suffered minor injuries in the shootout and remain in stable condition.

Authorities also recovered eleven AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles, along with nine handguns, one shotgun, and a G3 rifle.

Gunbattle in the Mexican state of Sinaloa resulted in 19 cartel operatives killed on Friday

The gun battle erupted after Mexican forces engaged a convoy of heavily armed men in a rural area outside the resort town of Mazatlan

Casillas said the gunmen were members of a violent organized criminal group responsible for drug trafficking in the southern mountainous region of the state.

“We believe (the violence) has to do with the transport of drugs and the fight for territory, for the areas that these groups are fighting over,” Casillas said.

He added, “The 17 people killed, belong to a group that was generating violence in that area.”

Officials say 17 purported hitmen were killed in the ensuing firefight

Authorities recovered a cache of weapons from the scene of Friday’s violence in Sinaloa

Mexican and U.S. Law enforcement officials say a power struggle has erupted between rival Sinaloa cartel factions following Guzman’s arrest and extradition back in January.

The Sinaloa Cartel’s declining power has also invited threats from outside groups, specifically the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

According to official government statistics, the Sinaloa state has seen a 76% increase in homicides during first five months of 2017 in comparison to the same period last year.

Mexican officials have directly attributed the 30% rise in Mexico’s murder rate for the January-May period to the recent spike in violence occurring in Sinaloa.

In the month of May, Mexico had its highest rate of intentional homicides reaching a record 2,186 murders, breaking the previous high set in May of 2011.

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