The reason for last week’s deployment of military forces in the mountains of Durango and Sinaloa in northern Mexico, was revealed on October 14th: the fugitive Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is believed to be hiding out in the area.
Sinaloa Governor Mario López Valdez and military commander General Alfonso Duarte Mujica confirmed that the Sinaloa Cartel leader was the object of the exercise, which began last week, on Tuesday October 6.
However, Duarte Mujica told reporters earlier that rather than looking for Guzmán they were after armed gangs reported in the area by local residents, who said they were being threatened by criminals whose intention was to plant opium and marijuana crops.
The general said many had already been taken into custody and that a variety of firearms had been seized.
But there are other reports stating that many families in the area have been displaced by the military operation and some had been physically abused by military officials.
The village of El Verano is allegedly deserted as residents left in fear of the outcome of the military incursion.
Some 250 residents of Tamazula, Durango, a town about an hour and a half away from Culiacán, Sinaloa, fled their homes because the area had become “a battleground” between federal forces and organized crime members.
They reported high-caliber weapons fire and aircraft and helicopters flying overhead.
Mujica said he was unaware of anyone being physically hurt and that anyone displaced was free to return and could do so safely given the security being provided by federal forces.
A report by NBC News said U.S. drug enforcement agents had intercepted cellular telephone calls confirming Guzmán’s presence at a ranch in the region. But when Mexican forces arrived at the location all they found were the cell phone and clothing they suspected belonged to the Sinaloa Cartel leader.
The area of military activity is about 160 kilometers from Badiraguato, Sinaloa, where Guzmán was born.
– Source: http://mexiconewsdaily.com/
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