Late last week, a commercial airplane was shot at by members of a Mexican drug cartel in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, after the capture of Ovidio Guzmán López.
The government’s arrest of Guzmán López, the son of the infamous Joaquín Guzmán Loera, or “El Chapo,” has led to an explosion of violence in Culiacan between the cartel and the Mexican government, and passengers aboard an Aeromexico flight were caught in the crossfire.
One passenger took a video of the harrowing scene, and Mexican source Los Noticieristas posted the clip to Twitter.
“Passengers on a #Aeromexico flight experienced moments of terror when the aircraft was hit by a bullet resulting from today’s clashes, preventing it from taking off from the airport,” the account wrote.
In the video, passengers can be seen hiding behind seats and ducking after the jet was hit.
#Culiacán 🚨 | Pasajeros de un vuelo de #Aeromexico vivieron momentos de terror cuando la aeronave recibió el impacto de una bala derivada de los enfrentamientos de hoy, evitando su despegue del aeropuerto. #ObservandoEnVivo 🔴 | @Noticierista pic.twitter.com/h062ysB0GD
— Los Noticieristas (@noticieristas) January 5, 2023
The airline says no one was injured by bullets on the flight, but the plane’s fuselage was damaged by incoming fire, according to a report.
Witness David Tellez described the event to the Daily Wire:
“As we were accelerating for take-off, we heard gunshots very close to the plane, and that’s when we all threw ourselves to the floor,” Tellez says.
Tellez said that his family, also with him on the flight, hid in the bathroom in the airport after deboarding instead of going home due to the chaos ensuing in Culiacan.
“We prefer to stay at the airport until it’s safe to leave,” Tellez said. “The city is worse. There is a lot of shooting and confusion.”
Ovidio Guzmán’s arrest comes four years after his 2019 capture failed when cartel gunmen forced the government to free Guzmán by threatening families and wreaking havoc.
This time around, Mexico’s military is better prepared for a fight with the cartel; according to the Daily Wire, Mexico’s Culiacan operation features military helicopters with M134 miniguns and more than 3,500 armed troops.
After twenty-four hours of violence, twenty-nine people have died, including ten members of the Mexican military and nineteen cartel shooters, the Guardian reports.