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Violence paralyzes western Mexican city of Culiacan

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Organized crime again paralyzed the western Mexico city of Culiacan Thursday as alleged cartel members carjacked residents and set vehicles ablaze, leading authorities to warn everyone to stay inside.

Authorities did not immediately explain what triggered the outburst of violence, but such displays often come in response to arrests of cartel figures as their allies attempt to create chaos.

Sinaloa state security chief Cristóbal Castañeda warned citizens via Twitter, adding that the state was responding and would inform when they could.

The city of Culiacan posted on social media “Don’t leave home! The safety of Culiacan’s citizens is the most important.” It said work was suspended for all municipal employees. State education authorities announced that all administrative and teacher activities were also suspended Thursday in Culiacan.

Culiacan has seen such displays before. One of the most notorious occurred in October 2019, when federal security forces corned Ovidio Guzmán, one of the sons of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. When gunmen began shooting up the city with high-powered weapons, the government retreated and let the younger Guzmán escape.