The Mexican Army reportedly apprehended about 167 cartel members on April 13, regarded as the biggest op although things took a different twist not long after.

After the army arrested members of the “Pueblos Unidos,” a group that has links to several Mexican drug cartels, the mission was soon met with retaliation.

Initially, the Mexican army seized more than 200 weapons that also including hand grenades and grenade launchers.

"Thanks to the hard work of the National Guard, the Mexican Military and State officials, we managed to arrest 167 armed men that pretended to destabilize the region," Michoacán governor Alfredo Ramírez said.

However, that moment of triumph did not last long with other armed members of “Pueblos Unidos” leading a convoy through the streets of Uruapan, Michoacan state. They demanded the release of their comrades as things took a different turn.

At some point, group members blocked six National Guard patrol vehicles and ended up trapping 25 officers. They were now the ones kidnapped authorities say.

Negotiations followed and fortunately, the two sides were able to reach a compromise. Details on the negotiations were not revealed.

Among those arrested included Raymundo Gallegos, otherwise known as “La Maseca.” He is a known member of the criminal organization Caballeros Templarios a secession from another self-claimed autodefensa group turned drug cartel, La Familia Michoacana; and Gabino Cornejo, working for the Carteles Unidos criminal organization.

Aside from Gallegos, another person who was allegedly arrested on that day was Gabino Cornejo. He works for the Carteles Unidos criminal group.

“Pueblos Unidos” was initially created in 2021 and claimed itself as a self-defense group fighting Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación.

However, there are claims that it could just be a different iteration of the “Carteles Unidos which has links to La Familia Michoacana and other cartels and criminal organizations including Caballeros Templarios, Los Viagras and the Sinaloa Cartel.

Mexican drug cartels
Aerial view of the Apatzingan-Aguililla highway, state of Michoacan, Mexico, on April 23, 2021. The municipality of Aguililla is being threatened due to the confrontation between the organized crime groups Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel (CJNG) and the Michoacan Family (now called Viagras). Photo by Enrique Castro/AFP via Getty Images

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