Town endures four-day cartel hell as gangs hunt El Chapos brother with tanks

A Mexican town was plunged into a four-day cartel hell as rival gangs hunted for the brother of infamous drug lord El Chapo.

Residents of the north-western town of Tamazula de Victoria, Durango, were trapped in a nightmare as a war between cartels waged with continuous gunfire, grenades detonating and even custom-made tanks rumbling through the sleepy settlement, located at the foot of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range.

From August 27 and 30, members of La Rafita joined forces with La Linea, a faction of the Juarez Cartel, to search for 'El Guano' Guzman Loera, the brother of the imprisoned former Sinaloa Cartel boss El Chapo.

READ MORE: Glamorous El Chapo cartel smuggler 'La Gaby' caught after $1m bounty is extradited to US

La Rafita are followers of the deceased drug lord Rafael Díaz Beltrán, who was allegedly killed on El Guano’s orders.

Local news outlets report it is not yet clear how many were killed in the fighting.

According to Mexican newspaper Milenio, the 26,000 residents of Tamazula de Victoria endured the battle for the four days with no military or police intervention as "hooded men" cut telephone lines.

Mobile reception is also poor in the town, located in Mexico's Golden Triangle – a prolific poppy and marijuana growing region.

The affray is believed to have shut schools in the town for the foreseeable future and signals that El Guano could soon be taken out.

Mexico's Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) released an intelligence report that reveals a new war in the country's north between El Rafita and El Guano's men. El Guano has reportedly made the Durango mountains his hideout and stronghold for years.

The feud is believed to have started when El Guano ordered the hit on Rafael Díaz Beltrán, who was murdered in October 2022, despite the two previously being allies.

The beleaguered state of Durango is no stranger to violent cartel clashes and has often made the headlines as a drug war battleground.

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