top of page

Aeromexico flight caught in cartel crossfire

If you plan to visit Mexico anytime soon, you should be aware of the current safety and security situation. A recent incident in the northern city of Culiacan serves as a warning, reminding us all to be cautious when traveling.

Following the arrest of Ovidio Guzman, a senior member of the Sinaloa cartel and the son of the infamous drug lord known as El Chapo, violence erupted in Culiacan on Thursday. The Culiacan airport was closed and flights were disrupted as security forces patrolled the city, attempting to contain the violent backlash.

Aeromexico flight AM165, which was scheduled to depart for Mexico City, was one such flight. David Tellez, 42, was on board the plane with his wife and three young children when it was caught in the crossfire of the cartel violence.

According to Tellez, "as we were accelerating for take-off, we heard gunshots very close to the plane, and that's when we all threw ourselves to the floor." Despite roadblocks set up after overnight shootouts, he and his family arrived at the airport without incident. A series of military planes landed on the airstrip just as their flight was about to take off. Tellez took several videos with his phone of two large air force transport planes, smaller fighter-like attack planes, and military trucks on the tarmac. Then the gunfire started.

A video that appeared to capture the same incident circulated on social media, showing passengers crouching low beneath their seats as a child cried. According to a flight attendant, the engine was hit, causing a leak. Passengers were directed to disembark and proceed to an airport waiting room with no windows. It's unclear who was firing at whom.

Despite the chaos and confusion, Aeromexico stated that no one was injured on Tellez's flight. The incident, however, serves as a reminder to always be aware of your surroundings when traveling, as well as to stay informed about the local security situation.

If your travel plans are disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances, it is critical that you remain calm and follow the instructions of airport personnel and local authorities. Tellez and his family chose to remain at the airport until it was safe to depart rather than venture out into the city, where there was "a lot of shooting and confusion."

While such incidents are uncommon, it is always better to be prepared and have a plan in place in case something unexpected occurs. You can increase your chances of having a safe and enjoyable trip by staying informed and following the advice of local authorities. So, whenever you travel, be cautious and have a safe journey.


bottom of page