Bloody Culiacan

As we reported on Friday, Culiacan, the capital of the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, was the scene of a two-day forum last week, the International Forum on Illicit Drugs, where there was much criticism of the Mexican drug war and the planned escalation of it envisaged by Plan Merida, the $1.4 anti-drug aid package cooked up by the Bush and Calderon administrations. The so-called "narco-violence," which might more accurately be called "prohibition-related violence," was, unsurprisingly, a central concern of presenters at the forum. In the year and a half since President Calderon took office and unleashed the Mexican military on the narcos, some 4,000 people have been killed. As if to punctuate that concern, just as the conference was wrapping up Wednesday, a series of armed confrontations broke out in central Culiacan. Sparked by a joint military-federal police sweep that was attacked by AK-47-wielding narcos in a Chevy Tahoe, gun battles broke out across the city as narcos swooped in to lend aid to their colleagues being harassed and captured by the law and other, rival narcos intervened. In one shoot-out between rival narco factions, two men were killed. In another shoot-out, between narcos and state police, two cops were killed. The military and police arrested 13 presumed cartel gun-men and seized a huge arsenal of heavy weapons, cash, and drugs. Thursday morning, military pick-ups and Hummers were cruising the streets of Culiacan, soldiers at their posts in back with heavy machine guns. Military helicopters buzzed over the city, although it was unclear whether they were supporting urban ground operations or were on their way to search for marijuana and poppy fields in the nearby mountains. (I apologize for not having any photos of this stuff. My camera battery went dead Tuesday morning, and having brought with me the wrong bag of electronic stuff, I couldn't recharge it. I went to five different camera stores in Culiacan looking for either a new battery or a charger, to no avail. I finally found a store in Mexico City Friday that charged it for me, so I have lots of photos of Saturday's Global Marijuana March in Mexico City. They will show up in a blog post later today.) The heavy military and law enforcement presence didn’t do much good. Friday night, the narcos struck back, ambushing a federal police patrol in the heart of Culican, killing four officers and leaving three other seriously wounded. But it wasn't just narcos vs. cops and soldiers Friday night. As reported by the Mexican news agency Notimex, a little after 11 Friday night, at least 60 armed men broke into three houses in a city neighborhood and seized five men, then took off in a 15-vehicle convoy, which was in turn attacked, leaving one man dead at that scene. At the same time, two other shoot-outs erupted in different neighborhoods of the city, while simultaneously, on the outskirts of town, presumed narcos shot and killed two Culiacan city police. It's not always easy to figure out who is killing whom. There are local, state, and federal police, any one of whom could be working for the cartels. There's the army. Then there are the competing cartels themselves. In Culiacan, long controlled by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and his Sinaloa cartel, Guzman and his group are being challenged by the Arrellano Felix Juarez cartel, which wants to take over "la plaza," or the franchise, as the local drug connection is known. Just to complicate things further, the Juarez cartel is allegedly being aided by the Zetas, the former elite anti-drug soldiers turned cartel hit-men, who usually work for the Gulf cartel. And this is just in Culiacan. There are other prohibition-related killings every day, soldiers and police being assassinated every day. On Saturday, the Mexican secretary of public security held a ceremony to honor the nine federal police killed by the narcos in the last few days. Another was gunned down in the Mexico City suburb of Coyoacan Friday night, too. All of this pathology, of course, is a direct result of prohibitionist drug polices aggressively pursued by Washington and Mexico City. And what is their response? Let's have more of the same, only more so.
Culiacan, SIN
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Are you really in Culiacan right now? I live here and am from ohio. Be really careful of taking pictures down here right now. The war is only getting started. The mexican gov. does not have the weaponry or money to take down the cartel of Sinaloa. Its way to powerful and have ties that that go well north of the border. Its not only Mexicos fault.

psmith's picture

I left the city Thursday afternoon.

Now I'm in the relative safety of Mexico City. Hah!


You are totally right about the drug war just starting.....I currenlty also live in Culiacan and am from NYC and i do not ever take pictures of anyone or anywhere....whether its for sightseeing or harmless fun.

People are just jumpy and trigger happy. I agree this local drug war wont stop from USA aid. These Culiacan drug lords are powerful.

Yup, its scary with the daily killings but my friends and I simply keep our wits around us and are alert all the time, only go to work during the day and have our housekeeper cook every night and we entertain ourselves at home.

We do not go out ever in Culiacan! We head to Mazatlan to relax.

I guess...

...this is another case of "fighting the war over there ,so we won't have to fight it here". Incredibly stupid politics on behalf of the USA in both occurences. The drugwar...same as it ever was...and getting worse. Legalization could solve the whole problem by taking the money out of the equation. But then money is what this drugwar is really all about.

psmith's picture

Narco-signs went up in Culiacan yesterday.

Today's Mexico City newspapers are reporting that lieutenants of the Sinaloa Cartel placed banners at various locations around the city overnight Friday and early Saturday:

"I am the chief of the franchise [the drug-dealing operation] here, and this is only the beginning. This and more comes to you courtesy of El Mochomo, yours, Arturo Beltran."

"Soldiers of lead, federal police from far away, this Arturo Beltran's territory. The government and all who cross me, I'll take care of you, Arturo Beltran. You know where we are, we are waiting for you here."

Although Beltran, a high lieutanant of El Chapo Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel, was arrested in January, it seems his muchachos are still around and feeling feisty.

So it goes these days in Culiacan...

Drug cartels

There's no "Arrellano Felix Juarez cartel." They are two different cartels, one, the Arellano Felix Cartel of Tijuana, an off-shoot of the Felix Gallardo clan; the other, the Juárez Cartel, run by the brother of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, Vicente, in Cd. Juárez, south of El Paso, Texas.

Michel Marizco

arturo beltran problably dead

I`m from culiacan,sinaloa and grew up in Tierra Blanca, I was in culiacan( for vacation ) went everything start happing, I heard from a person that knows them, that Arturo beltran was killed and they have the service (under the table) in culi, and then take him to the ranch.


I have been to Culiacán a few times in the last several months. Just today there were four gun fights in various neighborhoods including the one where my girlfriend lives.

it's only going to get worse. I've been reading El Debate just about every day lately and all I see is news about murders and drug dealers.


hey everything is ok down here !!! thanks cesar manjarrez puro culichi


Take care of yourself down there... my girlfriend lives there and won't be here with me in the US until i'm pretty concerned for her and her family.

no worries

dont worry everything is undercontrol now


well i think you guys should stop chatting about this gangsta shit before you end up in noreste or el debate too

puro sinaloa

There's no "Arrellano Felix Juarez cartel." They are two different cartels, one, the Arellano Felix Cartel of Tijuana, an off-shoot of the Felix Gallardo clan; the other, the Juárez Cartel, run by the brother of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, Vicente, in Cd. Juárez, south of El Paso, Texas.

Michel Marizco

thats what he means its 2 cartels but they are allied together fighting against the sinaloa cartel
by the way i am also from sinaloa.


culichi here, this is all calderon's fault, he fucked up bad whe he sent hundreds of soldiers to get alfredo beltran in january, i live 3 blocks away form where they got him.. if calderon leaves culiacan alone, evrything will fix,

it will only get worse

Just came back from vacation. I was in Culiacan from the end of April till the 13th of May and scared to dead to go to public places.There was a shooting outside a known store where they used a bazooka to kill a son of "el chapo" Things calmed down for now but will get worse. I heard that the Sinaloa cartel has divided and will fight for power.One of the Beltran brothers (right hand of "el chapo" got caught and brotner thinks "el chapo" turned him in, then he got together with another cartel leader (i think Juarez cartel) "carrillo" to fight "el chapo" . In addition " el chapo" is not happy that they killed his son. I dont know how accurate this is but this is what people are saying there. Glad to be out of there but worry about innocent people geting shot in the crossfire since they dont care who is around when they are trying to kill a rival.
and.......... this is not Calderons fault for fighting them it is all the previous corrupted officials that gave them proteccion that allowed them to grow this big.


[email protected],Vancouver,B.C.Canada History has shown that prohibition breeds corruption like nothing else.The only blame belongs to the proponents of prohibition and the evil that it nurtures.There was never any real reason for prohibition in the first place.It grew out of racism and the fear of minorities by the ruling white class who feared losing their women to the foreigners and their potions.Without drug prohibition these drugs would be worth pennies on the dollar and no one would be shooting at anyone for the right to sell them.


culiacan was founded by beltrans (nuño beltran named the blody beltran), this family is very big, whole populations are beltran in sinaloa, guadalajara, nayarit and durango was founded by beltrans, they are extended between sinaloa, durango, sonora, baja california, california, arizona, wa state and many other states, also many populations of south america was conquered by beltrans.

if some people kill one beltran they kill all your familiy and your dog, cat, everiting, they send you to the hell.


I am a Beltran. My family is from Culiacan, Sinaloa. I wonder if I am of direct descent of the orginal Beltrans? Is there a way I can find out? I was born in California but still have family in Culiacan. Can anyone help me find out?


The city existing today was founded in 1531 by the Spanish captain Nuño Beltrán de Guzmán and named San Miguel de Culiacán. In the same decade, it was the terminus of the long journey of Cabeza de Vaca and company among natives. Explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado set out from Culiacán to explore what is now the southwestern United States. Settlers from Europe came to Culiacán, and in the following centuries, Culiacán continued to be a quiet town. It was only after the federal government built dams in the adjacent areas in the 1950s that agriculture exploded and the city began to grow exponentially. Some of Mexico's largest agricultural conglomerates operate in the vast and fertile coastal plains. The agro-industrial economy continues to be the single largest contributor to the region's legal economy.


i have been to almost all the big cities all over mexico and i noticed that culiacan has lots of hot bad you might get shot if you even try to talk to a pretty girl in culiacan.

El Sinaloense

The only think that I would advice anyone in here is to reserve any comments that may seem unimportant to you. If someone, that deals and knows on of those narcos, hears you say something about what's going on you can get killed. I was in "Las Quintas" several weeks ago and someone got shot just for that.

I just hope that I everything gets resolved among these people. I'm from Culiacan and I certaintly don't want to live in it like it is right now...

Oh yeah!! and about Culiacan's women it's true...we have the hottest women! Just always know who you're dealing with.

el botas blancas

everything happend thanxz, to the rats of chapo guzman, and mayo zambada. they were the one's who ratted on el mochomo. sinaloa cartel is known to be dirty. they let you work, but one's you get big, they either kill you or rat you out so you could go to prison. i believe that chapo's guzman and zambada era is over.


the guzman-zambada organization is the most powerful in the history of Drug cartels. They ratted alfredo beltran out because he betrayed them by joining los zetas behind they're back. He basically asked for what happened to him.

dude you are gay so just

dude you are gay so just shut the fuck up...botas blancas it goes to u...arriva el chapo y el mayito los reyes

Mochomos Cleaning rats

The Mochomeras Army are cleaning Mexican states. the hand for the friend, caresses for the ladies and bullet for the enemies.

the territory back to its conquerors.

Mountains of badiraguato I come sing to you, cradles of pure brave mens, one of they I speak, he is been born in the Palm, named Alfredo Beltran, named Alfredo Beltran, since he was a child hi start to work, making pacas of kilo whit arturo his brother, working whit his brother his life start to change, his life start to change, the day january 12, that so special day, is his birthday day, with all hi is going to celebrate, in his ranch the little valley, the band go to sound, the band go to sound...

the seven say to his people I want all of you very alert, prepare your AK-47, with the finger in the trigger, as I already said to other times, bullets for the enemies, bullets for the enemies, I still Working and protecting the plaza, if the enemies come in, I stop they with my people, if the sun is warm, the pinos protect me, the pinos protect me.

Culiacan always has been a dangerous City

I am from Culiacan ( and very proud of it) living in the U.S. and it is really sad to hear about the violence in my hometown, it has always been dangerous to live there, but now it is becoming a situation like in Colombia. I worry for my family as well as for my friends.
I hope that peace will prevail but unfortunately this is a sub-culture of the "Narcos" and it is well established and has brought only misery to all that live there. I'm sure that I am not the only Culichi that has chosen to live somewhere else. Pray for Peace please.


[email protected],Vancouver,B.C.Canada Two of the dead in sinaloa were members of our very own UN gang.There are times when the shooting gets pretty intense here but intense for Vancouver is when there are multiple killings.Nothing like the all out slaughter that's taking place in Mexico.Yet.

It is only bad propaganda.

I lived 24 of years of my life in Culiacan, now I am 35 and live in Coahuila, Mex. I was always out in the streets in the public buses, sometimes walking in the night and nothing ever happened to me or my friends. I really think that all of the killings are to people in the 'bussines'. Nobody will come and shoot at my house if I live decently, they choose that way of life, they take the risk, they pay the risk. That is how it is.

I still go to Culiacan every year to visit my familly, and I really do not feel scared to go out. I still enjoy going out to the mall, restaurants, el malecon, etc...

The good people in Culiacan is still much more than those ugly bastards.

Arriba mi bello Culiacan.

Mexico needs to infiltrate and have them finish each other off

While relaxing "prohibition" may seem like a good thing, let's set the record straight:

1. Europeans and gringos still consume most of the crap these morons produce in Colombia and funnel through Mexico, and most of the potheads are in the USA and CAnada. Period.

2. Mexico needs to infiltrate the narco circles and have these half-witted "nacos" finish each other off.

3. A final push will require standing up to the bastards that remain. For this, we need PERHAPS to have some dialogue.

4. The PAN--a completely hypocritical organisation--is proving to be as inept as the PRI, perhaps more so.


my name is maria, i left culiacan about three months ago because of the drug war between my family and another drug lord... my dad sent me to california... and i agree with the gentlemen telllling you to becareful when taking pictures... i myself have seen alot of things the arent pretty and all im going to tell you is becareful these people dont play games and if they catch you, youll be history.... im very interested in knowing more about these war you seen... plz answer back


wats ur email;$

Who has the real power?

Culiacan capital Sinaloense. Very amicable and friendly people. Lovely state, excellent food and beautiful women.

I would ask:

Who pays for the drugs distributed by the drug cartels? CIA? Mega Mafia in the US? Local Swap meet in major cities USA? NO. Who really has the $$$ to pay and finance these wars? How far do they go?

The real power lies NORTH. For all of you critizinging Mexican lords. Who pays them?

1. College Students
2. Doctors
3. Stock brokers
4. Little rich boy from daddy
5. A guy going thru divorce! fuck me!
6. Black and Latinos living in poverty due to the system of redistricting in the USA

sociology professor

I am a sociology professor who has begun some work on the Mexican drug war and the societal issues with war/violence and the damning of society. Unfortunately, I have nothing in the way of information/informants. IS there any people from Caliacan that would like to discuss streets, buildings..........or just the "way of life?
Curious??? Please

Travel to Culiacan

I am interested in visiting Culiacan for a week but am finding more and more articles warning about the violence there. people who have lived/traveled there... please tell me whether or not you think I should go.

There is hope if each one of us does something.From a druggy.

It was a real experience earlier today. As I arrieved in Sacramento on my way to get my kids I had to take an exit that i did not wont to take. My kids and their new family moved to another part of town and I had to take a freeway that I did not wont to take becous it was an old route that I took everyday when i was active in the world and under the influence of all the drugs that were in style at that time crystal meth,crack cocaine, marijuana,alcohal etc.

Well I got very weak and anxiety reached its peak and I almoste went to get some drugs,my minde was made up. God and his Angels interfered and kicked some devil butt and there was victory. I went back home and then went to Baptist Church. It was Sunday,yesturday 12/07/2008. I guess God don't even rest on his own day of rest.

Im from Sinaloa

Im from sinaloa and i have to say that the violence over there is really bad. i have famalies living in Culiacan right now and they say its bad because one time in my aunts house two blocks always there was a shootout and thank god my aunt wasnt there.

Im proud of beeing Sinaloan but the violence has to stop

Arriba Sinaloa!!!!!!!!!!

el sz9


el sz9


never stop

the U.S. and Mexico government should give immunity and grant liniency to all the drug cartels. Let them keep there money so they can invest it in something positive, like helping out both countries. Because it will never stop. Everytime you capture the kingpin, a new one will surface. The killings will stop and both governments will be the only ones profiting from drug sell, that is if they choose to legalize only small amounts. NOW THAT SHIT WILL BAIL US OUT here in america

I was born in Culiacan, Sinaloa

I was born in the colony called 'Tierra Blanca" in Culiacan, Sinaloa in 1954 and immigrated to the U.S. when I was five years. My earliest memories were beautiful filled with lots and lots of music and dance parties. I returned in 1972, when I was seventeen not knowing what I was walking into or who some members of my family was. It soon became apparent. One of my uncles friends then told me that my uncle was a "King Pen" and he was his body guard. My uncle who had been shot in the street by a rival gang in 1973 lived paralysed from the waist down until 1994. His birth name was Francisco Guevara, alias 'Frumann', alias 'Profe'. Ironically, it was that name they used for one of the villans in the movie "Once Upon A Time In Mexico". My uncle was proud of his status. I was scared out of my mind. As soon as I could, I left in 1978 never to return. In those few years I saw one uncle shot in the street and left paralyzed for the rest of his life, another uncle shot in the gut where a large portion of his intestines was removed, he died last year as a result of his comprimised health and yet another uncle killed at a party in 1972 by another uncle. What they were after was control, power and wealth. They all made a lot of money in a short time, but then again they all had just a short painful time to live. Today I heard some stupid fool proudly announce to a friend that no one could mess with her because her husband was in the Mexican Mafia. This sent me into a painful memory flashback. My uncle Francisco Guevara had been arrested in 1963 in Michigan for drug trafficing and spent six years in that state prison. He used his time in prison to network with American drug dealers, so by the time he got out he had a good network and customer base in place. That's what prison did to him. It made him better.


I think it's ridiculous that this is even going on when it can be solved so easily.

I say legalization is the best way to go. The fact that it's illegal is what gives them the power to charge so much for it anyway..if the government just legalizes these things there will be less bloodbaths, no doubt.

Arriba Sinaloa

arriba sinaloa plebes y no se rajen por chingaderas k la gente cuenta....
PURo SinALoa

Arriba QuiLA & El meLOn Sinaloa


Arriba todo MI SiNALOa

El chapo y el MZ

Sigele chapo y mz chingen su madre putos zetas ala verga puto
Aqui puro cartel de Sinaloa putos

news from Culiacan


I am reading this page and wondering - has anything changed during the years? is it safe to raise children in Culiacan?

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