“HEARST” for Borderland Beat 

They’re hunting down someone in Culiacán. Just days after Ovidio was captured, there was a large-scale military operation in the city and it is unclear which cartel figure authorities were targeting – or if they managed to arrest them.

Saturday Night Operation

On the night of January 7, 2023, two days after the capture of Ovidio Guzman, a military helicopter circled a neighborhood in the city of Culiacán. 

Eerily, the helicopter utilized no lights, so residents could barely see it as it hovered above in the night sky, but the sound of it was unmistakable. News outlet Punto MX writes that the helicopter remained circling for over 40 minutes and that it was being used “in support of a ground operation”.

Videos from locals, which can be seen below, depict the large convoy of military vehicles which rolled into the Miguel Hidalgo neighborhood of Culiacán at approximately 9:00 pm. 

What exactly soldiers did within the neighborhood is not clear. El Siglo de Durango writes simply that “federal forces and elements of the State Preventive Police deployed an operation in several streets in Hidalgo.” 

In a video uploaded by Periódico Vivavoz, a man with a gun is seeming aiming up in the air, at the helicopter from a rooftop in the area. 

At approximately 10:24 pm, Sinaloa’s Head of Public Security, Cristóbal Castañeda tweeted out that:

“At this time, authorities from the three levels of government are carrying out an operation in the Miguel Hidalgo neighborhood in Culiacán. 

We ask you not to create misinformation.” 

During this operation there were an exchange of shots between authorities and cartel hitmen. UniRadioInforma describes this by writing “continuous firearm shots were reported.” Some of these gunshots can be heard in the video filmed by a local, embedded below.

A 84-year-old man, named Isidro “N”, who was on Mariano Escobedo street was hit by a bullet. Army personnel escorted him to a nearby hospital where he died hours later from the gunshot wound.

The exact manner in which this man was hit has not been disclosed.

The operation continued past midnight, and at 12:08 AM, the Head of Public Security tweeted out that “As a follow up, it should be noted that, to date, no person has been detained, nor have any body parts been found. We invite you not to spread misinformation.”

The operation seemingly ended unsuccessfully and the soldiers were gone by morning.

Who Were They After? 

An article written by the journalist Carlos Velázquez, which was printed by the publications El Financiero, Nacion 321, Novedades de Tabasco, Guardia Nocturna, and Lado, claims that the January 7th operation “sought to arrest Néstor Isidro García, El Nini.”

It should be noted, however, that the writer Velázquez, made no reference to having spoken to sources in law enforcement or the military, nor were there even mentions of speaking to locals in the article. He offers no reasoning for claiming the operation was targeting El Nini. 

Meanwhile Hache News, a relatively unknown Twitter account, claims it was to capture Ivan.