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Amid Sonoran standoff, soldiers were offered nearly $500K for release of criminal leader

The arrest of a criminal leader in northwestern Sonora led to a shootout recently.

During a Saturday operation in Altar, four suspected criminals — including a leader  identifiedby Gov. Alfonso Durazo only as Francisco T, or Duranguillo — were arrested by Mexico’s military. Durazo called it a major blow to those most responsible for violence in the region.

The soldiers were then surrounded by dozens of criminal operatives and offered 10 million pesos — or nearly $500,000 — to release the leader, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador recounted on Monday.

Instead, reinforcements arrived, and a shootout ensued, in which a soldier was killed, according to the president.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.