2 000 protest for druglord’s release in Mexico

2014-02-27 08:34

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Culiacan, Mexico – About 2 000 people demonstrated in support of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in his northwestern home state, chanting “release him” following his weekend arrest.

Dressed in white and accompanied by a folk band, the protesters marched in the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan before about 200 police officers dispersed them. One young man was injured in the head amid a shoving match.

In Mexico City, federal prosecutors filed new organised crime charges against the Sinaloa cartel leader, who has been held in the country’s highest security prison near the capital since his arrest on Saturday.

The march – which included men, women and students – began in a church on a hilltop overlooking Culiacan and culminated in front of the city’s town hall amid shouts of “Viva El Chapo”.

One sign held by the protesters read: “Joaquin Guzman gave jobs, not like you corrupt politicians.”

A 30-year-old woman who refused to give her name, from Culiacan’s blue-collar district of Las Coloradas, said: “El Chapo helps companies that support those in need. El Chapo prevents other rival cartels from entering Sinaloa.”

Anonymous fliers were found throughout the city earlier in the day, calling on residents to demonstrate for “the release of El Chapo, hero of Sinaloa”.

Although “narcocultura” – the veneration of drug cartels through song and film – runs deep in Sinaloa, it was the first known protest in favour of Guzman in the city of 675 000 people.

As people marched, drivers raised the volume in their cars to blast the sounds of “narcocorridos”, or folk ballads that have been composed in his honour.

Messages of support for the 56-year-old cartel leader appeared on Twitter, too, with the hashtag #ILoveChapo.

Mexican marines had nearly captured Guzman in one of his Culiacan homes a week earlier, but he fled through a tunnel hidden under a bathtub that was connected to the city’s drainage system.

The marines, backed by intelligence provided by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, found Guzman further south in the resort of Mazatlan.

He was staying with his beauty queen wife and two-year-old twin daughters in a condominium when he was arrested without a shot being fired after 13 years on the lam.

Federal judges ordered on Tuesday that Guzman face trial on organised crime and drug-trafficking charges. US prosecutors plan to seek his extradition.

The attorney-general’s office announced that it was pursuing additional charges of organised crime, drug trafficking, bribery and possession of illegal weapons.

Guzman was among 12 people detained in an operation against the cartel between February 11 and 22, the attorney-general’s office said in a statement.

The operation netted 133 firearms, 311 cartridges, two grenade launchers, one rocket launcher, two rockets, two explosives, nine grenades, 43 vehicles and 14 homes.

Authorities seized 3.1 tons of methamphetamine, 82.2kg of cocaine and 25.6kg of marijuana.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.