A prison confrontation between members of two rival cartels spilled on to the streets of the border city Ciudad Juárez, where alleged gang members have killed nine more people, including four employees of a radio station.
The violence began on Thursday, when Los Chapos, members of the infamous Sinaloa cartel formerly led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, clashed with the local group Los Mexicles, in a Juárez prison, the deputy security minister, Ricardo Mejía, said.
A riot then broke out, leaving two shot to death and four injured with bullet wounds, Mejía said, speaking alongside the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, at a regular news confer-ence. Another 16 were injured in the fighting, he said.
Officials did not say what caused the clash. After the riot, the Mexicles rampaged in the city, authorities said, killing nine civilians. Among them were four employees of a radio station, including one announcer, Mejía said.
“They attacked the civilian, innocent population like a sort of revenge,” said López Obrador. “It wasn’t just the clash between two groups, but it got to the point in which they began to shoot civilians, innocent people. That is the most unfortunate thing in this affair.”
Mejía said four employees of MegaRadio who were broadcasting a live promotional event outside a business were killed in the shooting.
Across town, convenience stores were also shot at and set on fire. FEMSA, the parent company of the Oxxo chain, said in a statement that one of its em-ployees and a woman who was applying for a job were killed in the violence.
About 1am on Friday morning, six alleged members of Mexicles were arrested by local police, with help from the army and national guard, Mejía said.
The violence came two days after drug cartel gunmen burned vehicles and businesses in the west-ern states of Jalisco and Guanajuato in response to the arrest of a high-ranking cartel leader.
López Obrador, popularly known as Amlo, came to power promising “hugs not bullets”, which he promised would reduce soaring murder rates in the country. But experts say the strategy has only emboldened criminal groups to become more violent and expand territorial control across the country.—AP