Passengers on an Aeromexico flight today got caught up in cartel violence, and had to duck for cover as their plane was shot at. Ugh…
Arrest of El Chapo’s son leads to violence in Sinaloa
Earlier today, Mexican drug lord Ovidio Guzmán, son of jailed kingpin “El Chapo” Guzmán, was arrested by Mexican authorities. This is causing some violent scenes throughout the western Mexican province of Sinaloa, as the cartel takes revenge.
We’ve seen all kinds of targeted attacks, ranging from arson, to doctors and nurses being kidnapped, to Mexican military helicopters being shot at, to roadblocks being set up. The scenes are simply horrific, and there’s no end in sight for the violence, as the cartel tries to recapture Guzmán.
This situation is even impacting commercial aviation…
Aeromexico flight attacked by cartel
Passengers at Culiacán Airport (CUL) in Sinaloa got caught up in the violence earlier today. Aeromexico flight AM165, which was scheduled to fly from Culiacán to Mexico City, was impacted by this the worst. This flight was scheduled to depart at 8:24AM for the 651-mile journey to Mexico’s capital. The flight was operated by a 15-year-old Embraer E190 with the registration code XA-ALW.
Based on the footage, it appears that the cartel fired at this plane while it was taxiing to the runway on departure. There’s video footage both from outside the aircraft, and also from within the cabin, where passengers are told to duck for cover.
The flight ended up being canceled. While that’s of course logical in terms of safety, I’m sure passengers weren’t too happy about not being able to leave the region, given all that’s going on.
There are pictures on social media showing bullet holes in the jet.
The airport will remain closed for the remainder of the day — it’s anyone’s guess when it will reopen.
It’s awful to see the violence in Sinaloa right now. On the one hand, I respect the government for trying to tackle Mexico’s drug problems. On the other hand, one has to wonder if the Mexican government is equipped to really take on a cartel this powerful.
As it impacts aviation, we’ve seen the cartel target one of the main airports in the region, including firing at an Aeromexico plane. The flight was taxiing out as it was shot at, and was subsequently canceled. While it’s logical that the flight was canceled, I imagine passengers must be scared to still be stuck in the region.
What do you make of this Aeromexico gunfire situation?