Joel Ernesto Soto, director of the Sinaloa State Preventive Police (PEP), was assassinated this Monday morning when he was driving his vehicle on the Benito Juárez highway (or “La Costera” highway), at the height of the Cerro Bola community, in the municipality of La Angostura, not far from the city of Guamúchil.

The Secretary of Public Security of the State, Christopher Castañeda, described the act as a “cowardly aggression” and expressed his condolences to the relatives of the former secretary of Public Security in Mazatlán.

In a cowardly attack, this morning, unfortunately, the director of the State Police, Joel Ernesto Soto, lost his life. The facts about the Los Mochis-Culiacán highway. Our condolences to the family and society of Sinaloa who have lost a great man.” Castañeda wrote on his Twitter account.

Security sources reported to Infobae Mexico that the official was traveling alone. According to preliminary data, the direct attack would have occurred around 07:30 hours. Unofficially, there were about 200 bullet wounds.

Cristóbal Castañeda, Secretary of Public Security of the State, described the act as a

Cristóbal Castañeda, Secretary of Public Security of the State, described the act as a “cowardly aggression”.

The director of the PEP was found dead and with gunshot wounds in the front seats of a recent model white Nissan Sentra. Apparently he was traveling from Los Mochis, where he had his residence, to the state capital, Culiacán.

On May 6, Joel Ernesto Soto was the victim of another attack in Mazatlán, when alleged members of the Sinaloa Cartel They attacked the convoy of the state police in which the director of the police corporation was traveling.

The agents carried out surveillance tasks after receiving several citizen complaints about the presence of armed civilians in the region in the framework of the current electoral process.

When they arrived at Eucalyptus street, Loma Bonita neighborhood, they noticed that there was a group of subjects and several vehicles in a home that was allegedly used as a safe house.

As soon as they noticed the police presence, the alleged members of the Sinaloa Cartel entered the house and from there opened fire on the uniformed men.

The attacks mobilized Army and National Guard personnel (Photo: SSP-Sinaloa)

The attacks mobilized Army and National Guard personnel.

Although it was initially reported that the director of the state police had been injured, the Secretary of Security discarded that version and clarified that no agent or civilian was injured in the confrontation.

The director of the state police was doing tours in this area, they located a vehicle, from which people got out and entered a home, they made detonations and an operation was armed.” Informed Castañeda in preliminary versions.

After controlling the situation they were secured seven people, eight long guns, including a .30 caliber machine gun; as well as a handgun, ammunition, chargers, and tactical clothing and equipment. One of the rifles was equipped with a grenade launcher attachment.

They were also seized seven vehicles, some of them were inside and others outside the home.

“It should be noted that the director of the PEP-Sinaloa, Joel Ernesto Soto, is well along with the rest of the elements; there were neither police nor civilians injured. We continue in the area carrying out the corresponding work,” reiterated Cristóbal Castañeda through Twitter.

We have already had different events and because of that we also have to have a greater presence [en esta zona]”added Cristóbal Castañeda.

And it is that on April 22, in the municipality of Escuinapa, there was an attack against elements of the Sinaloa Public Security Secretariat, which left an element of the corporation injured.

The region, like other parts of the state, has been involved in the internal war in the Sinaloa Cartel, a group that leads Ismael el Mayo Zambada and the children of Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán, known as Los Chapitos.

Joel Ernesto Soto, director of the State Preventive Police.

Joel Ernesto Soto, director of the State Preventive Police.

In December 2018, Joel Ernesto Soto was appointed as director of the State Preventive Police. Before that, he had served as Secretary of Public Security in Mazatlán in the period 2017-2018.

On December 2, 1981, he entered the ranks of the Army. He studied at the weapons classes school, at the Heroico Colegio Militar; and took several basic and advanced courses at the Military Intelligence School, as a Cavalry Officer, and in International Criminal Law.

During his military career he carried out tasks in different states such as Sinaloa, Sonora, Mexico, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Guerrero and Baja California Sur; places where he has worked in the 18, 34, 4, 20, 3, 14 and 21 battalions in Motorized Cavalry Regiments; 1 / o. and 26 / o. Armored Reconnaissance Regiments; also as head of the Autographic Workshop Dependent of the DN-29 National Defense Staff.

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