Mexico police chief is ambushed and assassinated in Sinaloa

Mexico police chief is ambushed and shot dead in ‘cowardly’ attack just two weeks after surviving assassination attempt by El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel

  • Joel Ernesto Soto, state police director in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, was assassinated Monday
  • The suspects fired more than 200 shots at Soto’s vehicle, which veered off a highway in the municipality of La Angostura
  • Soto survived a May 6 assassination attempt when alleged Sinaloa Cartel gunmen opened attack a police convoy in Mazatlán
  • Authorities have not made any arrests in connection to Soto’s murder as of Tuesday 

The director of the state police in the cartel-plagued northern Mexico state of Sinaloa was killed during an ambush.

Joel Ernesto Soto was traveling on a road that connects the cities of Los Mochis and Culiacán when gunmen unleashed an attack Monday morning, forcing the official to drive off the road in the municipality of La Angostura.

Photos leaked on social media showed the dead high-ranking official slumped inside his bullet-riddle car.

More than 200 shots were fired, Infobae reported.

‘In a cowardly attack, this morning, unfortunately, the director of the State Police, Joel Ernesto Soto, lost his life,’ State Public Safety Secretary Cristóbal Castañeda wrote on his Twitter account. ‘Our condolences to the family and the society of Sinaloa who have lost a great man.’ 

Joel Ernesto Soto, head of the state police in the north Mexican state of Sinaloa, was executed by assassins Monday.  The suspects ambushed his vehicle on a stretch of a highway the connects the cities of Los Mochis and Culiacán and fired more than 200 shots at the car, which was found on the side of the road

Security forces stand guard near the vehicle of Sinaloa state police director Joel Ernesto Soto, was executed by assassins Monday

Soto was on his way back home after enjoying Sunday off in Los Mochis. He was said to have been accompanied by a bodyguard, who has been reported missing.

However, Mexican newspaper Proceso and Infobae reported that Soto alone at the time of the incident. 

Soto was an army lieutenant colonel who was on leave while heading the state police.

The state police director was traveling in a convoy with other law enforcement officials when they came under fire May 6 in Mazatlán. 

Soto also participated in an operation on or about May 14 in which security forces detained eight people who were in possession of stolen vehicles and high-powered weapons.

Sinaloa state police director Joel Ernesto Soto was on his way back home after enjoying Sunday off in Los Mochis and was executed after his car was ambushed by armed suspects, who reportedly fire more than 200 shots. Soto was said to have been accompanied by a bodyguard, who has been reported missing. But Mexican newspaper Proceso and online digital outlet Infobae reported that he was driving alone

An investigator searches for evidence on a road in Mexico following an attack on a state police director Monday

More than 200 shots were fired at agent Soto’s car during an ambush in Sinaloa, Mexico

Sinaloa is home to the Sinaloa Cartel, which was co-founded by Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, who is serving a life sentence at a super maximum facility in Colorado.  

Co-founder Ismael ‘El Mayo’ Zambada, who has never been arrested, now shares control of the transnational criminal organization with El Chapo’s three sons, who are known as ‘Los Chapitos.’ 

The cartel is also engaged in turf battles with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment, the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel were mentions as leaders among of pack of nine organizations that were responsible for transporting drugs from Mexico to the United States last year.

The report revealed that even with El Chapo in prison, the Sinaloa Cartel maintained a tight grip on the trafficking and sale of drugs across the United States, with a shocking influence in 24 states and Washington, D.C.

The report found: ‘The cartel employs gatekeepers assigned to Ports Of Entry and controls Arizona and California area smuggling corridors into the United States.’ 

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