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Mexican drugs cartel throws bodies from light aircraft in Sinaloa

One cadaver lands on hospital roof, witnesses say that gunmen picked up other two

In a macabre show of force amid the worsening war between rival criminal factions in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, three bodies were thrown out of light aircraft on Wednesday over the small community of Eldorado.

Forensic technicians at the crime scene in Eldorado, Sinaloa.
Forensic technicians at the crime scene in Eldorado, Sinaloa. REUTERS

One of the bodies fell onto the roof of the local hospital at around 7am, reported Mexican daily Milenio, citing municipal police.

Witnesses said that three bodies were thrown from a small plane over the town, which is some 54 kilometers south of the state capital of Culiacán, on the Pacific coast. Two of the corpses were reportedly picked up by armed men. The authorities have not confirmed the reports of the other two bodies.

The remnants of the Sinaloa cartel are fighting for control of the drugs trade

The State Attorney’s office said it was trying to identify the body that landed on the hospital roof.

Sinaloa has been hit by violence following the extradition of the former boss of the Sinaloa drug trafficking cartel, Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán, to the United States in January, where he awaits trial. There have been more than 500 deaths so far this year as rival factions within the cartel fight for control.

The area where the bodies fell is controlled by Dámaso López, a Sinaloa cartel leader and former partner of Guzmán, and El Chapo’s sons. Both factions are fighting for control of this vital drugs shipment route to the United States.

This latest tactic ratchets up violence that has seen decapitations, the murder of family members, kidnappings, death threats to police officers, and dismembered bodies dumped by roadsides.

Former Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán on his arrival in the United States after being extradited.
Former Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán on his arrival in the United States after being extradited. AP

Mexican journalist Javier Valdez told EL PAÍS in February that the only person with any influence and power within Sinaloa cartel is one of its founding members, Ismael Zambada, “but he has not shown the same willingness to use violence as El Chapo’s sons or his brother Aureliano Guzmán.”

El Chapo had reportedly reached an agreement with Zambada over roles and responsibilities within the Sinaloa Cartel, but following his extradition El Chapo’s sons have allegedly fallen out with Zambada. “They don’t want to take his advice. They are much more violent and are more inclined toward using weapons than words, and that is very dangerous,” said Valdez.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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