Arturo Beltran-Leyva Gunned Down By Mexican Marines in Cuernavaca

December 18, 2009

Story here. This is a huge deal. Arturo was the head of the Beltran-Leyva cartel, which operated in Morelos, Acapulco, Mazatlan and parts of Northwestern Sonora, among other locations. But it raises a lot of questions. There’s definitely going to be more violence now, but between who. The Beltran-Leyva brothers split from the Sinaloa cartel and partnered with the Zetas after they believed Chapo Guzman sold out second-in-command of the family unit Alfredo Beltran-Leyva in the spring of 2008. The group retaliated by murdering Guzman’s son Edgar in Culiacan soon after. Arturo’s death leaves the Sinaloans as the main group to benefit. They can now make a push to control almost the entire Pacific seaboard of Mexico.

This marks another turning point. Now every major cartel has felt serious blows in the government’s war. All of them besides the Sinaloans. Which doesn’t do much for the unspoken belief in Mexico that there are parts of the government who believe the only way to resolve this drug war between the cartels is for one of the cartels to win, and that the Sinaloa cartel knows this well. Some believe they have greased the right right palms and are being largely ignored by law enforcement, who are instead pursuing the smaller, weaker drug trafficking organizations. You won’t stop cocaine smuggling in Mexico, but if you can consolidate it, you can end the need for inter-cartel violence.

The Sinaloa cartel is indeed widely believed to have reported Alfredo Beltran-Leyva’s location to the authorities and gotten him arrested in 2008. It would not be surprising if the same happened here. It’s hard to believe Arturo would just be caught off guard like this without a serious breach of his formidable lines of security.

This is a very big deal.

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