Members of Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel exchanged heavy gun fire with security officials Thursday. Footage showed heavily-armed men firing on police, with cars, bodies and burning barricades strewn in the road.

Initially, members of Mexico’s National Guard and army patrolling the nearby city of Culiacan received heavy gun fire they traced to a nearby home, according to the Associated Press. When authorities entered the house, they found Ovidio Guzman López, the son of one of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman.

The fighting became so intense that Mexico’s security cabinet ordered authorities to stand down. As a result, Guzman Lopez escaped. His father remains incarcerated in the U.S. at a high security prison in Florence, CO. El Chapo serves a life sentence.

Despite the arrest of its top leaders, Sinaloa cartel continues to terrorize Mexico. The cartel traffics both people and drugs into the U.S. Sara A. Carter spent the majority of her career exposing the Gulf and Sinaloa cartel turf battles.

Carter found that the cartels were exploiting a porous border years before the crisis was acknowledged. It allowed the cartels to easily bring heroin and fentanyl into American communities that fuels a dangerous opioid epidemic. Last year, Sara A Carter released her documentary “Not in Vein” to initiate a call to action urging the federal government to designate the Mexican cartels “Foreign Terrorist Organizations.”


More: