MCALLEN, Texas — Mexican authorities have arrested the leader of the Beltran Leyva Cartel, one of the main cartels that operates in central Mexico.
Details of the operation have not been released by Mexican officials, however sources within Mexican law enforcement point to an intelligence based operation between the Mexican army and Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (PGR) capturing Hector “El H” Beltran Leyva near the resort town of San Miguel de Allende.
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 known in the U.S. as the BLO gained notoriety for its business-like approach which allowed them to infiltrate numerous law enforcement agencies in Mexico as well as to have considerable political clout. In its origins, the cartel was known for its ability to launder money for the Sinaloa Cartel allowing the crime syndicate to invest heavily in resorts as well as to control the cocaine transport in Mexican airports.
The Beltran Leyva Cartel gave rise to Edgar “La Barbie “Villarreal Valdez, 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. 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.
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter @ildefonsoortiz