Elements of the Sonora state police patrolling in the municipality of Caborca. Photo: twitter.com/SonoraSeguridad

By MARK LORENZANA

At least 28 people have been violently killed in the northern Mexican coastal state of Sonora since the recent capture of drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, according to a report on Wednesday, July 20, by the Mexican daily newspaper El Universal.

The violence has so far been concentrated in the municipalities of Guaymas-Empalme, Cajeme and Caborca. According to local reports, there have been armed attacks, abductions and shootings of homes with high-caliber weapons.

David Saucedo, a political analyst and expert on security issues, told the Mexican daily newspaper El Universal that the explosion of violence in Sonora was expected after the arrest of Caro Quintero, who serves as the leader of the Caborca ​​Cartel. According to Saucedo, members of Caro Quintero’s family hold different important positions in the criminal group.

“It is a family-run cartel, so there are two possibilities after the arrest of Caro Quintero,” Saucedo said. “One, that there would be a smooth succession, that the members of the cartel would agree on who would be in charge of the organization. Or two, that there would be a succession dispute.”

The Caborca ​​Cartel has an ongoing bloody dispute with the Los Salazar criminal cell of the Sinaloa Cartel’s Los Chapitos, and Saucedo said that it is also possible that the Sinaloa Cartel is taking advantage of the leadership vacuum created by the Caro Quintero arrest, and had been trying to invade the Caborca Cartel’s territories.

Saucedo added that it is normal for extreme acts of violence to follow the arrest or capture of high-profile drug traffickers like Caro Quintero, which has already happened in several other regions of the country for the past several years.

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