Before this year, the Beltran Leyva brothers served as high-ranking members of the organization with many people under their command and plenty of infrastructure to branch out on their own. Under the leadership of Arturo Beltran Leyva, the organization moved quickly to secure strategic narcotics transport routes in the states of Sinaloa, Durango, Sonora, Jalisco, Michoacan, Guerrero and Morelos. This attempt to conquer territory from their former Sinaloa partners sparked a wave of violence.
The Beltran Leyva organization has quickly become one of the most powerful drug trafficking organizations in Mexico. Not only have they shown themselves capable of trafficking drugs and going toe-to-toe with the Sinaloa cartel, they also have demonstrated a willingness to order targeted assassinations of high-ranking government officials.
The most notable of these was the May 9 assassination of acting federal police director Edgar Millan Gomez. The Beltran Leyva organization also occasionally has secured the cooperation of other drug trafficking organizations such as Los Zetas, Gulf, the Juarez cartel and a faction of the Arellano Felix organization (AFO) in Tijuana. However, these alliances are tentative at best and appear to have been forged mainly to counter the powerful influence of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera’s Sinaloa cartel.