December 22, 2009 |
The dead drug lord lay on his back, blood-soaked jeans yanked down to the knees. Mexican peso notes carpeted his bullet-torn body, and U.S. $100 bills formed neat rows next to his bared belly. The gory photograph of Arturo Beltran Leyva, one of Mexico's most wanted kingpins, was among those widely published here during the last few days following his death in a shootout Wednesday with Mexican marines in Cuernavaca, capital of the central state of Morelos. Even in a country where pictures of gruesome crime scenes routinely show up on the front pages of newspapers, the Beltran Leyva images have stirred controversy over who staged the tableau and whether Mexican authorities did so to send a taunting message to the rest of his powerful drug trafficking gang.
April 20, 2009 |
In the latest in a string of brazen attacks by drug traffickers, gunmen ambushed a prisoner transfer convoy in western Mexico, killing eight officers in an attempt to free a high-level cartel member, police said. At least 20 assailants fired in three gun barrages Saturday on the column of vehicles as it raced between an airport and a prison in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, police said. Police said it was a well-planned attack intended to free Jeronimo Gamez, cousin of Arturo Beltran Leyva, the reputed leader of one of Mexico's top cartels.
January 3, 2010 |
Mexican federal police Saturday announced the capture of Carlos Beltran Leyva, an alleged major drug trafficker whose brother, cartel leader Arturo Beltran Leyva, was killed in a shootout with Mexican marines last month. The capture of Carlos Beltran Leyva is a potentially significant gain for authorities because of the intelligence he could provide and because it further weakens one of Mexico's leading and most violent drug-smuggling organizations. Beltran Leyva was captured Wednesday in Culiacan, capital of Sinaloa state, which is an illicit drug center and birthplace of the Beltran Leyvas, along with many of Mexico's top traffickers.
December 16, 2009 |
The leader of one of Mexico's most notorious drug cartels was killed during a shootout with Mexican forces Wednesday, authorities said. Arturo Beltran Leyva, who heads a Sinaloa-based gang, died along with four gunmen during a gunfight with Mexican navy forces in the city of Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City, the navy said in a statement. One of the gunmen committed suicide during the clash. The Beltran Leyva group has been singled out by U.S. authorities as a major trafficker of cocaine into the United States.
April 14, 2010 |
The death toll from the Mexican government's three-year war on drug cartels is far higher than previously reported -- more than 22,000, according to news reports published Tuesday that cited confidential government figures. The figure is significantly higher than tallies assembled by Mexican media. They estimate that more than 18,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown against drug-trafficking groups after taking office in December 2006. The unofficial media tallies have often been cited by foreign news outlets, including The Times.
September 1, 2010 |
This time, Mexican authorities took their prey alive. Monday's bloodless capture of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a fair-haired Texan accused of helping run a murderous drug-trafficking gang in Mexico, could yield more breakthroughs by giving Mexican and U.S. authorities a deeper look into the workings of Mexico's drug underworld, analysts said Tuesday. In addition, Valdez's status as an American citizen may ease his possible handover to the United States, where he is wanted on cocaine-smuggling charges, by allowing authorities to skip or shorten the often-lengthy extradition process.