The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says the death of Arturo Beltran-Leyva has dealt a crippling blow to one of the most violent cartels in the world, and it comes as a result of significant cooperation and information sharing between law enforcement in the United States and in Mexico.
Beltran-Leyva was killed during a sustained firefight with the Mexican Navy. Several of his bodyguards were killed as well.
The DEA says Beltran-Leyva and members of his organization have smuggled ton-quantities drugs into the United States every year for more than a decade. As he first created and then defended his empire built on cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin, he orchestrated the murder of countless law enforcement officers, innocent civilians, and rival traffickers, the DEA says.
There are concerns being expressed in Mexico, however, that his death could lead to renewed violence during a battle for turf there.