New Yorker: “Killing Arturo Beltran”

January 8, 2010

Killing Arturo BeltranIt’s wild how openly he lived in Cuernavaca. In addition to bribing everyone in power in every level of government there, he had two teams of people roving the city constantly, day and night, keeping track of police and army movements. The first drove around and kept tabs while the second guarded houses and was ready as hired guns to be called in by the first team should they ever need as a distraction or to start a fight. His soldiers even had special flak jackets emblazoned with FEDA, the spanish acronym for “Special Forces of Arturo”.

But should we really think of him as a solitary kingpin, the owner of an empire? Couldn’t Arturo Beltran have been anyone? What does it really mean for Mexico that he’s dead?

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