EL CHAPO's kingpin son Ovidio Guzman looks shellshocked in pictures after his arrest – which sparked an all-out war.
The Mexican army deployed tanks on the streets as gun battles with gangsters left at least 29 dead in a terrifying escalation of violence.
Ovidio, 32, allegedly took over as head of the Sinaloa cartel after his infamous dad Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was extradited to the US in 2017.
He was captured by security forces in a dramatic swoop on Wednesday ahead of a visit by Joe Biden next week.
It triggered a wave of violence across Sinaloa state, including at an airport where mobsters riddled three planes with bullets.
Nineteen suspected cartel members and ten members of the security forces were killed in the clashes, defense minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said today.
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Another 21 people were arrested during the operations, he added.
Ovidio – dubbed "El Ratón" or The Mouse – is now being held at a maximum security federal prison in Mexico City.
Pictures shared online by Mexican journalists showed the cartel heir looking shellshocked in custody.
Wearing an orange prison-issue vest, he stares wide-eyed as he is questioned by officers.
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A second pic appears to show him being bundled into a helicopter.
He was due to have a haircut and a shave to remove his beard after the pics were taken, according to reports in Mexico.
Armoured cars with machine guns mounted on top were seen patrolling the region today as troops fought to regain control.
At least 28 people were reported injured in the gun battles, including eight civilians.
Pictures showed cars blazing and huge plumes of black smoke filling the sky in the city of Culiacan.
Gangsters invaded the city's international airport and opened fire on a passenger jet as it taxied along the runway.
Terrifying video shows passengers cowering on the floor as bullets tear through the fuselage.
Shocking footage also appeared to show a cartel thug attempting to take down jets using a sniper rifle.
Another clip appears to show heavy fighting overnight in Culiacan, with the sky lit up by helicopter gunfire.
People were urged to stay indoors amid the outbreak of violence as gunmen carjacked residents, torched vehicles and looted shops and homes.
Reports also claimed armed groups stormed hospitals and health centres, "kidnapping" doctors and nurses and forcing them to treat cartel fighters wounded in fighting with security forces.
Distressing footage shared on social media shows the floor of a hospital covered in blood.
Two ambulances were reportedly been stolen with paramedics inside and doctors seized from several hospitals in the Sinaloa town of Navolato.
Infantry Colonel Juan José Moreno Orzua, commander of the 43rd Infantry Battalion, and his four bodyguards were among those killed, reports El Universal.
It comes after Ovidio, a son of jailed kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was arrested on Wednesday night.
The US had offered a $5million reward for information leading to Ovidio's arrest or conviction.
It is not clear whether Ovidio will be extradited to the United States like his father, who is serving a life sentence at Colorado's Supermax, the most secure US federal prison.
Ovidio was briefly captured in 2019 before security forces were forced to free him after the cartel launched an all-out war in response on the streets of Culiacan.
He has allegedly helped to run the infamous Sinaloa cartel since the extradition of his father in 2017.
Ovidio has also been accused by the US State Department – along with his brother Joaquin – of overseeing 11 meth labs producing up to 2,200kg of the drug per month.
Authorities believe he is also behind the murders of informants, a rival drug trafficker, and a popular Mexican singer who refused to sing at his wedding.
El Chapo is currently serving life in prison in the US for trafficking hundreds of tons of drugs into the United States over a 25-year period.
The 65-year-old was convicted in 2019 of trafficking worth billions of dollars, as well as conspiring to murder his enemies.
But his cartel remains one of the most powerful in Mexico, and one of the largest drug trafficking organisations in the world.
The arrest of Ovidio, 32, would represent a major coup for the Mexican government in the war on drugs, ahead of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's meeting with Biden next week at a summit for North American leaders.
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President Obrador's left-wing government had previously been accused of going soft on the cartels, after he said that the violent tactics of his predecessors in response to the cartels had failed and only led to more bloodshed.
Instead, he called for a strategy of "hugs not bullets".
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