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Clash Between Rival Cartel Members Leaves 4 Dead in Culiacán, Sinaloa

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Three of the four victims found dead were minors.

Over the weekend, four men were found dead inside a vehicle on the outskirts of Culiacan near a highway that connects the city with Sanalona rural community. The four men were wearing bulletproof vests and sporting firearms. Investigators say that they died during a shootout with a rival cartel.

The Culiacan Municipal Police were the first to arrive at the scene and confirm that the victims were traveling in a black Toyota Highlander truck with Jalisco license plates. As shown in the pictures circulating in the local media, the vehicle had dozens of heavy-caliber bullet holes.

So far, the authorities have not given more details about the attack. Their identities were initially unknown, but their names were leaked to the press by Sunday afternoon. One of the gunmen killed of had a tactical vest with the insignia “Marina” (Navy). More than 100 bullet shells were found at the scene.

The victims were identified as Jose Ignacio Ochoa Carranza (age 30), Luis Enrique Miranda Gutierrez (age 17), and the siblings Javier Antonio (age 16) and Brian Alex (age 17). All of them were residents of Culiacan.

Authorities have not issued a statement on the criminal groups involved in the clash. The local media has also been reluctant to say which criminal groups were involved.

In 2020, the area close to Sanalona, where the attack occurred, had several shootouts between the Sinaloa Cartel cells headed by Nestor Perez Salas (“El Nini”) and Jesús Alexander Sánchez Félix (“El Ruso”). As reported by Borderland Beat, this part of Culiacan Municipality was close to where Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa (“El Chino Antrax”) was found dead last year.


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