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Trouble in Culiacán

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Soldiers stand guard amid spent bullet casings following a brazen daytime shoot-out. Photo credit: Clayton Worfolk

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Valentín Elizalde was a popular banda singer before he was gunned down outside Reynosa in 2006. The motives behind his assassination have been cause for much speculation in Mexico. Photo credit: Jordan deBree

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Musicians play for cash and solicit gigs at designated points around the city. These days, they are hesitant to play narcocorridos, songs that touch on the region's drug trade. Photo credit: Clayton Worfolk

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On the south side of the city, elaborate mausoleums mark the final resting places of the city's wealthiest residents, many of them traffickers. Photo credit Clayton Worfolk

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A federal police officer looks on at the scene of an armed attack that left a woman dead. Over 100 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Culiacán this month. Photo credit: Jordan deBree

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Culiacán, a city of almost 800,000 people, is the capital of Sinaloa state. Nestled between the Gulf of California and the rugged Sierra Madre, the city is the historic home of Mexico's drug trade. Photo credit: Jordan deBree

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At the chapel dedicated to Jesús Malverde, the (unofficial) patron saint of narco-traffickers, devotees leave behind pictures of loved ones. The real-life Malverde was supposedly a Robin Hood-like bandit who authorities killed in 1909. Photo credit: Clayton Worfolk

Images by Clayton Worfolk and Jordan deBree