MCALLEN, Texas — Mexican authorities have arrested the leader of the Beltran Leyva Cartel, one of the main cartels that operates in central Mexico. The arrest marks another trophy to the failed administration of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto who despite capturing or killing several cartel bosses has not been able to get a handle of the security situation in his country.
The arrest took place near the tourist town of San Miguel De Allende where a Special Forces team from the Mexican Army following an intelligence based operation by the military and Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) resulted in the capture of Hector “El H” Beltran Leyva, said Tomas Zeron de Lucio, the head of the PGR’s Criminal Investigation Agency.
San Miguel De Allende is quite famous for its tourism which attracts a large number of American tourists seeking to visit the areas colonial structures and regional flavor.
Soon after the arrest became public, Peña Nieto took to social media to congratulate Mexican authorities in the arrest that came about without bloodshed and claim that security would return to Mexico.
Beltran Leyva was captured with his money man German Goyenechea Ortega, both men tried to keep a low profile in the state of Queretaro by pretending to be art dealers and real state moguls, Mexican officials said. The Beltran Leyva Cartel had been involved in widespread distribution of cocaine from Central and South America into the U.S. and Europe, Zeron said.
Beltran Leyva had 29 separate investigations against him in Mexico and the U.S. Department of Justice had outstanding warrants for him offering a $5 million reward.
The Beltran Leyva cartel came about as a splinter of the Sinaloa Cartel and became independent in 2008 facing off against its former ally believing that Sinaloa’s boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman had betrayed them. The cartel gets its name from the five Beltran Leyva brothers who controlled the organization which included Alfredo “El Mochomo” Beltran Leyva and Arturo “El Barbas” Beltran Leyva. El Mochomo remains behind bars following his capture in 2008 while El Barbas was gunned down by Mexican marines in December 2009. Prior to the shootout where Arturo Beltran Leyva was gunned down, U.S. intelligence officials had tipped off their counterparts at the PGR that the fallen kingpin was at a Christmas party. In that failed operation, Mexican authorities arrived hours late giving the kingpin time to escape, however in that party authorities arrested Ramon Ayala a Texas musician that performs regional music and had been playing at the function.
The Beltran Leyva Cartel gave rise to Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez Villarreal, one of the groups top lieutenants who had been born in Laredo, Texas and became a Narco-superstar following his 2011 arrest. Villarreal’s face made the cover of various magazines and newspapers because of his boyish looks and choice of high end clothing.
While the BLO organization appeared to be dormant, the name had resurfaced in recent weeks following a meeting between various criminal drug cartels including the Zetas, the Arellano Felix cartel and the Jalisco Nueva Generacion where talks of joining forces towards defeating the Sinaloa Cartel and their ally the Gulf Cartel are believed by U.S. intelligence officials to have taken place.
“The capture of ‘El H’ will be tough for the remnants of the BLO which has been hit hard times since the capture and killing of brothers Alfredo and Arturo then follow up hit-man commander Edgar ‘La Barbie’ Villarreal Valdez a few years ago,” said Breitbart Texas Contributing Editor and Border Security Expert Sylvia Longmire. “Hector was spearheading what was turning out to be a decent resurgence and challenge for the Federation, particularly in the northern Mexican state of Sonora along the Arizona border.”
While a successor is expected to quickly rise, the aftermath of the capture is a prime opportunity for the Sinaloa Federation to reclaim lost territory and properties that the BLO had taken in 2008, Longmire said.
“Or the BLO’s recently forged ally Los Zetas may absorb some operations and defend Hector’s operations against encroachment,” she said. “Given that the BLO had a good degree of penetration into the upper echelons of the Mexican government and along family history of narcotics trafficking the BLO will likely not disappear from the drug scene very quickly or quietly.”
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