Mexican drug lord killed

Mexican security forces have killed drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva, one of the most wanted traffickers in both Mexico and the United States.

Mexican drug lord killed

Mexican security forces have killed drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva, one of the most wanted traffickers in both Mexico and the United States, in a victory for President Felipe Calderon's war on drug cartels.

Beltran Leyva, a drug lord dubbed "The Boss of Bosses," was killed on Wednesday by Navy forces in a luxury residential complex in the southern city of Cuernavaca.

"We confirm the death of Arturo Beltran Leyva. He was killed in a Navy operation in Cuernavaca," said a Navy captain who declined to be named.

Six bodyguards died together with Beltran Leyva, who ran a cartel that carried his family name. He was an ally turned foe of Mexico's No.1 most wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.

More than 16,000 people have been killed in drug violence in the last three years as rival gangs have fought each other and security forces. Atrocities have become common.

Suspected drug gangs dumped the severed heads of five police officers and a prosecutor outside a church in the northern state of Durango on Wednesday.

The heads were left in plastic bags discovered by trash collectors as blood ran out of the bags onto the street.

The death of Beltran Leyva is a boost for Calderon, who launched a war against the cartels after coming into office in 2006. Navy forces have increasingly joined army troops and federal police in the fight.

"Victory"

"This is a victory for Calderon in the short term, but his position will be filled very quickly," Alberto Islas, a security analyst, said of Beltran Leyva.

He predicted more violence as rival drug gangs try to take back territory lost to the Beltran Leyvas in recent years in southern Mexico and Mexico City.

The Beltran Leyva brothers were engaged in a gruesome fight over smuggling routes into the United States with one-time ally and now arch-enemy Shorty Guzman.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in August announced an indictment against Arturo Beltran Leyva and other top Mexican smugglers for moving billions of dollars of cocaine across the U.S. border.

Beltran Leyva was wanted in Mexico for organized crime activities and kidnapping. He had a $2.4 million price on his head in Mexico.

The Treasury Department said last week the United States had frozen the U.S. assets of 22 individuals and 10 companies linked to the Beltran Leyvas.



Reuters

Last Mod: 17 Aralık 2009, 15:59
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