Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Beltrán-Leyva Cartel

Saturday, August 28, 2010 |


 El jefe de jefes Marcos Arturo Beltran Leyva

The Beltrán-Leyva Cartel (Spanish: Cártel de los Beltrán Leyva) is a Mexican drug cartel and organized crime synidicate founded by the five Beltrán Leyva brothers: Marcos Arturo, Mario Alberto, Carlos, Alfredo and Héctor.

The cartel is responsible for cocaine transportation and wholesaling, marijuana production and wholesaling, and heroin production and wholesaling, controls numerous drug trafficking corridors, and engages in human smuggling, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, murder and gun-running.

The Beltrán Leyva brothers, who were formerly aligned with the Sinaloa Cartel, have been allies of Los Zetas for some times.

History

Born in the Sinaloan countryside in the 1960s, the Beltrán Leyva brothers – Marcos Arturo, Mario Alberto, Carlos, Alfredo and Héctor – worked closely with Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, during decades of smuggling. Sensing a void in the rival Gulf Cartel after Osiel Cárdenas' arrest in March 14, 2003, the Sinaloa Cartel began to move into Gulf Cartel territory.

Both gangs have been battling each other in northern Mexican cities since then, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people including civilians, police and journalists. About 90% of the deaths are of drug traffickers.

In 2004 and 2005, Arturo Beltrán Leyva led powerful groups of assassins to fight for trade routes in northeastern Mexico for the Sinaloa Cartel. Through the use of corruption or intimidation, the Beltrán Leyva Cartel has been able to infiltrate Mexico's political, judicial and police institutions to feed classified information about anti-drug operations, and has even infiltrated the Interpol office in Mexico.

Assets

The cartel's assets include:

Hegemony over drug and other illegal activities at airports in Mexico, Monterrey, Toluca, Cancún, and Acapulco;
Hotels and restaurants, constructed to launder money, in Cancún, Acapulco, Cozumel, and other resorts;
A working agreement with Los Zetas.

Supply corridors for moving marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine from the Andes to the Arctic;
Capability to extort, launder money, run guns, smuggle humans, promote prostitution, and carry out kidnappings;

Operations in Mexico City, Chiapas, Guerrero Mexico State, Morelos, Nuevo León, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Sinaloa, Sonora, and Tamaulipas, as well as in the United States and Canada;

Access to some high-ranking public figures and Army personnel whom they have bribed or intimidated.

Switch of alliances

The arrest of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva (a.k.a.: El Mochomo) on January 20, 2008, was a huge blow to the Sinaloa Cartel, as he allegedly oversaw large-scale drug-smuggling operations and was a key money launderer for the cartel. In apparent revenge for the arrest of his brother Alfredo, Arturo ordered the assassination of the commissioner of the Federal Police, Édgar Eusebio Millán Gómez, and other top federal officials in the Mexican capital.

One group of these hit men was captured in a Mexico City house with dozens of assault rifles, pistols, grenade launchers, 30 hand grenades, and bullet-proof jackets bearing the legend FEDA — the Spanish acronym for 'Special Forces of Arturo'. Apparently, the Beltrán Leyva brothers blamed their boss Joaquin "Chapo" Guzmán for their brother's arrest, and ordered the assassination of Guzmán's son, 22 year-old Édgar Guzmán López, which was carried out in a shopping center parking lot by at least 15 gunmen using assault rifles and grenade launchers.

The residual impact of Alfredo’s arrest not only undermined long-term Sinaloa alliances, but resurrected animosities between rival cartel leaders Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán and Arturo’s new allies, the Juárez Cartel, and provided the catalyst behind the bloodshed in Mexico’s most-violent city: Ciudad Juárez. The Beltrán Leyva brothers, and those loyalists who departed the Sinaloa Cartel with them, have allied with Los Zetas, causing an escalation of conflict in strongholds shared uneasily by "old" Sinaloa leaders.

In February 2010, the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel and los Zetas engaged in a violent turf war against the new alliance integrated by the Gulf Cartel, Sinaloa Cartel and La Familia Cartel in the border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, rendering some border towns "ghost towns".

Official reports from early 2010 mention a current infighting for the control of the cartel and its territory. One faction is lead by liuetenants Édgar Valdez Villarreal and Gerardo Alvarez-Vazquez, while the other is lead by Héctor Beltrán Leyva and his lieutenant Sergio Villarreal Barragán.

Suppliers

The Beltrán Leyva brothers’ Colombian cocaine supplier, Ever Villafane Martínez, was arrested in Morelos in August 2008. Since then, the organization has pursued a relationship with Víctor and Darío Espinoza Valencia of Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel.

Bounty

Rewards of 30 million pesos (US$2.35 million) are offered by the Mexican government for information that leads to the arrest of the Beltrán Leyva brothers and the cartel's top lieutenant: Sergio Villarreal Barragán, while the United States is offering a US$5 million reward for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Héctor Beltrán Leyva, who now leads the drug cartel.

Captures

Alfredo Beltrán Leyva was captured on January 20, 2008, Arturo was killed by Mexican Marines in a shoot-out on December 16, 2009. Carlos Beltrán Leyva was captured by the Mexican Federal Police on December 30, 2009, in Culiacán, Sinaloa after showing authorities a fake driver's license. On April 22, 2010, a cartel liutenent Gerardo Alvarez-Vazquez was captured on the outskirts of Mexico city; the U.S. had been offering a $2 million U.S. bounty for his arrest. Hector Beltran Leyva, is still at large and considered to be the leader of what remains of the cartel.

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7 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

$113 billion is spent on marijuana every year in the U.S., and because of the prohibition *every* dollar of it goes straight into the hands of criminals. Far from preventing people from using marijuana, the prohibition instead creates zero legal supply amid massive and unrelenting demand.

According to the ONDCP, two-thirds of the Mexican drug cartel's money comes from selling marijuana in the U.S., and they protect this cash flow by brutally torturing, murdering and dismembering thousands of innocent people.

If we can STOP people using marijuana then we need to do so now, but if we can't then we need to legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults with after-tax prices set too low for the cartels to match. One way or the other, we have to force the cartels out of the marijuana market and eliminate their highly lucrative marijuana incomes - no business can withstand the loss of two-thirds of its revenue!

To date, the cartels have amassed more than 100,000 "foot soldiers" and operate in 230 U.S. cities, and the longer they're able to exploit the prohibition the more powerful they're going to get and the more our own personal security is put in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

Great article Buggs, I find these expose's on the Cartels to be both informative and interesting reads. One thing I wonder is why La Barbie split with the rest of the Beltran Leyva organization, do they suspect him of having sold out Arturo? and what is the estimated strength of La Barbie's faction of the Cartel compared to the rest of the Betran Leyva organization?

Keep up the good work!

we r the world said...

sad story about mexico, but its the end of days what do we spect , it hurts to see this is happening in this beatiful country rich in everyway , my advice is ligalise drugs , or MICRO CHIP EVERYONE , THE MICRO CHIP WILL KEEP EVERY ONE UNDER CONTROL , WHO THEY R , WHERE THEY GO , AND STAFF , ITS SAD THAT WE HAVE COME TO THIS BUT THERE ARE SOME VERY CRUEL PEOPLE OUT THERE , AND THEN U HAVE THE HARD WORKING GOOD PEOPLE THAT WANT THE BEST FOR MEXICO AND THATS WHERE THE EVIL ONES PREY OFF , MAY GOOD BLESS MEXICO AND EVERY INNOCENT IN IT .

Borderland Beat said...

"One thing I wonder is why La Barbie split with the rest of the Beltran Leyva organization, do they suspect him of having sold out Arturo? and what is the estimated strength of La Barbie's faction of the Cartel compared to the rest of the Betran Leyva organization?"

There was a rumor that El Barbie was responsible for the death of Arturo and Hector was not happy, but honestly, we never got good confirmation of this. I mean there was even rumors that Barbie was working with the DEA.

Most likely it was a struggle for power after the death of Arturo. Both Hector and El Barbie wanted to be the top capos. The rumors from major media sources and jefes de plazas about barble betraying Arturo just added to the hate of Hector against Barbie. Both o fthem are very powerful, with Hector having a slight edge.

J said...

Most likely Barbie didn't want to work under Hector, felt him unqualified for the job, and he was the most worthy successor. Typical egomanaical narco logic, could be just working under Hector, concentrating on rebuilding and restructuring the Beltran Leyva name/brand/organization, instead of running around Cuernavaca and Acapulco watching his people hang from bridges. Money over war in business, these new guys just don't seem to get it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info BB, and that is also a good hypothesis J. I guess the only other question is who is BLO allied with these days? And obviously the BLO lead by Hector is prob not going to join the LFM/CGD/CDS Federation due to the bitter war with El Chapo, so does that mean that BLO is prob allied with Los Zetas, AFO or La Linea? Seems like most of these alliances are made and broken on an almost daily basis. And where does any of this leave EL Barbie? I doubt he can go back to El Chapo and if BLO joins up with Los Zetas it will leave EL Barbie with very few friends indeed.

Anonymous said...

still it was clear that these men were killed in a most unimaginable way and the authority in Mexico should do something to stop the killings!

unless the authorities themselves are engaging into these murderous acts just to scare the living members cartels.

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