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.
December 19, 2009
Understandably, Mexican President Felipe Calderon is trumpeting the navy's success in taking down Arturo Beltran Leyva, wanted in the United States and Mexico for his part in the $15-billion to $20-billion-a-year drug trade. He was a criminal known to behead his rivals and believed to be responsible for last year's killing of the federal police chief in his Mexico City home; he was the most powerful cartel boss to be removed by security forces since Calderon launched his drug war in 2006.
December 18, 2009 |
He was one of Mexico's most notorious drug traffickers, embroiled in fights to the death with rival gangsters and the Mexican military. His crude signature -- proclaiming him the "boss of bosses" -- showed up regularly next to the headless bodies of his foes. So when Arturo Beltran Leyva fell dead Wednesday night during a frenzied gunfight with Mexican naval commandos, authorities declared a major blow struck against one of Mexico's meanest smuggling groups. "This action represents an important achievement for the people and government of Mexico and a heavy blow against one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in Mexico," President Felipe Calderon said Thursday from Copenhagen, where he was attending an international climate conference.
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 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.