Template:Infobox Criminal organization

The Beltrán-Leyva Cartel (Beltrán Leyva Organization or BLO[1]) (Template:Lang-es[2] or CBL[3]) was a Mexican drug cartel and organized crime syndicate founded by the four Beltrán Leyva brothers: Marcos Arturo, Carlos, Alfredo and Héctor.[4]

The cartel was responsible for cocaine transportation and wholesaling, marijuana production and wholesaling, and heroin production and wholesaling. It controlled numerous drug trafficking corridors, and engaged in human smuggling, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, murder and gun-running.[5]

Once one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels – which effectively infiltrated the ranks of various Mexican government agencies and even Mexico's Interpol – its last known leader, Héctor Beltrán Leyva, is currently a fugitive with multi-million dollar rewards on his head by both the United States and Mexican governments.[6][7][8] The capture on August 11, 2011 of one of the cartel's former top lieutenants,[9][9][10] called "the last Beltran-Leyva link of any importance",[9] prompted Mexican authorities to declare the cartel disbanded and extinct.[11][12]

History[edit | edit source]

Born in the Sinaloan countryside in the 1960s, the Beltrán Leyva brothers – Marcos Arturo, Carlos, Alfredo and Héctor – worked closely with Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, during decades of smuggling.[13] Sensing a void in the rival Gulf Cartel after Osiel Cárdenas' arrest on March 14, 2003, the Sinaloa Cartel began to move into Gulf Cartel territory. Both gangs fought each other in northern Mexican cities, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people, including some civilians, police and journalists. About 90% of the deaths are of drug traffickers.[14]

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 was able to infiltrate Mexico's political,[15] judicial[16] and police institutions to feed classified information about anti-drug operations,[17][18] and even infiltrated the Interpol office in Mexico.[19]

The last cartel leader, Héctor Beltrán Leyva, apparently has been inactive and remains a fugitive; the U.S.A. is offering a reward of USD $5 million for information leading to his arrest.[6] while the Mexican government is offering a USD $2.1 million reward.[7][8]

During 2010, a former Beltran-Leyva cartel liuetenant by the name of Óscar Osvaldo García Montoya (a.k.a: El Compayito[20]), attempted to regroup some cartel remnants under a gang he called La Mano Con Ojos.[9] García Montoya was arrested on August 11, 2011;[9] the Attorney General of Mexico had placed a $5 million peso ($400,000 USD) bounty for his capture.[10] Mexican authorities stated that García Montoya was "the last Beltran-Leyva link of any importance",[9] and that the cartel has been disbanded.[11][12]

Allied forces of Los Zetas and Beltrán-Leyva remnants clashed on April 28, 2012 with gunmen of the Sinaloa Cartel in the Choix mountains. At least 32 armed men were confirmed dead. The renewed fighting in Sinaloa state between the BLO and Sinaloa Cartel is supposedly sparked by the incursion of the Sinaloa Cartel and its allies in Nuevo Laredo, traditionally the biggest Zeta stronghold.[21]

Switch of alliances[edit | edit source]

The arrest of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva (a.k.a.: El Mochomo) on January 20, 2008,[22] 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,[23] and other top federal officials in the Mexican capital.[24][25] 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'.[23] Apparently, the Beltrán Leyva brothers blamed their boss Joaquin "Chapo" Guzmán for their brother's arrest,[26] and ordered the assassination of Guzmán's son,[27] 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.[28]

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.[29] The Beltrán Leyva brothers, and those loyalists who departed the Sinaloa Cartel with them, 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,[30][31] rendering some border towns "ghost towns".[32]

Official reports from early 2010 revealed infighting for control of the cartel and its territory. One faction was led by lieutenants Édgar Valdez Villarreal and Gerardo Alvarez-Vazquez, while the other was led by Héctor Beltrán Leyva and his lieutenant Sergio Villarreal Barragán.[33][34] On April 2010 Héctor Beltrán Leyva created a short-lived cell or branch in Morelos state called South Pacific Cartel (Cartel del Pacífico Sur) best known for having employed a 12-year-old gunman and executioner.[35][36][37]


Assets[edit | edit source]

The cartel's assets included:[38]

  • Dominance 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 bribed or intimidated.
Former suppliers

The Beltrán Leyva brothers’ Colombian cocaine supplier, Ever Villafane Martínez, was arrested in Morelos in August 2008. After that, the organization pursued a relationship with Víctor and Darío Espinoza Valencia of Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel.[26]

Bounty[edit | edit source]

The United States is offering a $5 million USD reward for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Héctor Beltrán Leyva.[39]

Captures[edit | edit source]

Alfredo Beltrán Leyva was captured on January 20, 2008,[22] Arturo was killed by Mexican Marines in a shoot-out on December 16, 2009.[40] 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.[41][42]

On April 22, 2010, a cartel lieutenant 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.[43] Edgar Valdez Villarreal was arrested on August 30, 2010 outside Mexico City.[44] On September 12, 2010 Sergio Villarreal Barragán was arrested in the city of Puebla, east of Mexico City.[45] Héctor Beltrán Leyva is still at large.[46]

The August 11, 2011 arrest Óscar Osvaldo García Montoya (a.k.a: El Compayito),[47] a cartel liuetenant, was called "the last Beltran-Leyva link of any importance".[9]

See also[edit | edit source]

List of Mexico's 37 most-wanted drug lords

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO)". Insight Crime. http://insightcrime.org/criminal-groups/mexico/beltran-leyva-org/item/81-beltran-leyva-organization. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  2. Old cartels with new names. Excelsior Author: Jorge Fernández Menéndez. (April 12, 2010)
  3. "A Touch of Luck and Awareness". US Embassy Diplomatic Cables from WikiLeaks. http://dazzlepod.com/cable/10MEXICO79/. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  4. "President Bush Designates Beltran Leyva and his Organization Under Kingpin Act". Embassy of the U.S. in Mexico. May 30, 2008. Archived from the original on August 27 2009. http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/eng/releases/ep080530kingpin.html. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  5. "Profile: Mexico's Beltran Leyva drug-trafficking gang". BBC News. December 17, 2009. Archived from the original on April 08 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8417914.stm. Retrieved 2010-04-11. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Narcotics Rewards Program: Hector Beltran-Leyva". U.S. Department of State. 2009. Archived from the original on June 27 2011. http://www.state.gov/p/inl/narc/rewards/133311.htm. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Mexico’s 24 most wanted traffickers". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. March 23, 2009. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-mexico-reward24-full-list,0,6265402,full.story. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Mexico offers $2 million for top drug lords
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 "Cae el líder de "La Mano con Ojos"; lo vinculan con 600 homicidios" (in Spanish). Excelsior. August 12, 2011. http://www.excelsior.com.mx/index.php?m=nota&id_nota=760418&photo=1. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 La Mano Con Ojos por EdoMex
  11. 11.0 11.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Morelos
  12. 12.0 12.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named proceso
  13. Grillo, Ioan (April 7, 2009). "Meet the drug lords". Global Post. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/mexico/090404/meet-the-drug-lords?page=0,1. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  14. "Briefing: How Mexico is waging war on drug cartels.". The Christian Science Monitor. August 16, 2009. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2009/0819/p10s01-woam.html/(page)/2. Retrieved 2009-08-20. 
  15. Mauricio Fernández Garza y su pacto con los Beltrán Leyva
  16. "DEA: Bribes taint late Mexican drug czar Story". The Houston Chronicle. May 13, 2009. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6423131.html. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  17. Stevenson, Mark (January 25, 2009). "Mexican top cops linked to cartel". The Herald. http://www.svherald.com/articles/2009/01/25/news/doc497c1f81de468388606275.txt. Retrieved 2009-08-03. [dead link]
  18. "Politicians For Sale". StrategyWorld. July 7, 2009. http://www.newser.com/story/63917/mexican-army-slammed-for-drug-war-torture.html?utm_source=syn&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hom. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  19. Goddard, Jacqui (October 28, 2008). "Interpol agent passed information to Beltrán-Leyva cartel in Mexico". The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5026787.ece. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  20. Cae el líder de La Mano con Ojos; lo vinculan con 600 homicidios: La Policía del Estado de México detuvo en la delegación Tlalpan a Óscar Osvaldo García Montoya, El Compayito; el capo trabajó con los hermanos Beltrán Leyva. Ángeles Velasco. Excelsior. Mexico City, Mexico. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
  21. "Update on the Choix, Sinaloa gunfights". April 30, 2012. http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2012/04/update-on-choix-sinaloa-gunfights-20.html. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Major Mexican drug cartel suspects arrested, officials say". CNN News. January 20, 2008. Archived from the original on June 27 2009. http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/05/20/mexico.narco.arrest/index.html. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Gunmen Kill Chief of Mexico’s Police". The New York Times. May 9, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/09/world/americas/09mexico.html?_r=1&hp&oref=login. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  24. Planearon los Beltrán Leyva homicidio de Edgar Millán: PFP
  25. Mexico plagued by new wave of gangland murders
  26. 26.0 26.1 "Mexican Drug Cartels: Government Progress and Growing Violence". STRATFOR Global Intelligence. December 11, 2008. http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20081209_mexican_drug_cartels_government_progress_and_growing_violence. Retrieved 2009-08-25. 
  27. Revela laptop operaciones de los Beltrán Leyva
  28. Sinaloa, en jaque por la violencia tras ser asesinado hijo del Chapo
  29. "Violence Along the Southwest Border”" (PDF). Report by El Paso Division – U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice. March 24. pp. 10–11. http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/speeches/s032409.pdf. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  30. "Drug Wars in Tamaulipas: Cartels vs. Zetas vs. the Military". Center for Latin American and Border Studies (MexiData). March 1, 2010. Archived from the original on April 14 2010. http://www.mexidata.info/id2570.html. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  31. "EU: alarma guerra "Zetas"-El Golfo" (in Spanish). El Universal. March 4, 2010. Archived from the original on March 06 2010. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion/176052.html. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  32. Video: Narco deja pueblos fantasma en Tamaulipas (March 4, 2010).
  33. "‘El Indio’ peleaba cártel a Héctor Beltrán" (in Spanish). El Universal. April 22, 2010. Archived from the original on April 26 2010. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/674811.html. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
  34. "Cae 'El Cantante', operador de 'El Indio'" (in Spanish). El Universal. April 26, 2010. Archived from the original on April 29 2010. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/notas/675647.html. Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  35. "Arresto de "El Ponchis" exhibe vacíos legales" (in Spanish). El Universal. December 4, 2010. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/primera/35971.html. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  36. "Child Assassin named "El Ponchis"Arrested By Mexican Army". Flex. December 4, 2010. http://www.inflexwetrust.com/2010/12/04/child-assassin-named-el-ponchisarrested-by-mexican-army/. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  37. "Alleged U.S teen cartel assassin arrested". Ninja Cops. Decewmber 3, 2010. http://site.ninjacops.com/blog/4039/alleged-u-s-teen-cartel-assassin-arrested/. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  38. "The Death of a Mexican Drug Lord: What might it mean?". MexiData. March 1, 2010. Archived from the original on April 14 2010. http://www.mexidata.info/id2569.html. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  39. "Narcotics Rewards Program: Hector Beltran-Leyva". U.S. Department of State. 2009. http://www.state.gov/p/inl/narc/rewards/133311.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  40. "Mexico: Top drug cartel leader killed". CNN News. December 17, 2009. Archived from the original on February 06 2010. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/12/17/mexico.cartel/index.html. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  41. "La PF detiene en Culiacán a hermano del "Jefe de Jefes"" (in Spanish). El Universal. January 3, 2010. Archived from the original on January 06 2010. http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/primera/34194.html. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  42. Mexico nabs 3rd brother in reputed drug family
  43. Alleged top drug dealer caught near Mexico City (April 22, 2010)
  44. "Police: Accused drug lord moved tons of cocaine to U.S.". CNN News. August 31, 2010. Archived from the original on September 02 2010. http://articles.cnn.com/2010-08-31/justice/mexico.kingpin.arrested_1_beltran-leyva-cartel-joaquin-el-chapo-guzman?_s=PM:CRIME. Retrieved 2010-09-03. 
  45. "Mexico arrests suspected drug kingpin". BBC News. September 12, 2010. Archived from the original on September 15 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11279537. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  46. "Beltran Leyvas Down but Not Out" INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND SECURITY NETWORK.
  47. "Mexico Arrests Trafficker Accused Of 600 Killings". The Associated Press. NPR. August 12, 2011. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103181125. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 

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