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Story Publication logo July 4, 2010

Blood Trade: Setbacks for the Beltran Leyva cartel

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A hardened criminal from the streets of Memphis. One of the biggest drug cartels in Mexico. The...


Craig Petties' January 2008 arrest in central Mexico was one of a series of setbacks for the Beltran Leyva cartel, the Mexican criminal organization he's accused of working with.

Later that month, the Mexican military arrested Alfredo Beltran Leyva, one of the brothers in the group's leadership.

The remaining Beltran Leyva brothers believed that the Sinaloa Cartel, a group they had been associated with, had betrayed Alfredo, according to a report by George W. Grayson, a professor at the College of William & Mary who has studied drug violence.

Gunmen used bazookas and high-powered firearms to kill the son of Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera in a supermarket parking lot, Grayson wrote.

It would be one of hundreds of killings in a cartel war, the Los Angeles Times reported. Posters with the Beltran Leyva signature, "boss of bosses" turned up alongside decapitated bodies.

The Beltran Leyva brothers would soon become known not just for violence, but for building up an intelligence network at the highest levels of Mexican government.

In late 2008, several top-level Mexican officials were arrested, including Noe Ramirez, the former drug czar. He was accused of taking $450,000 per month from the Beltran Leyva cartel in exchange for sensitive information, according to The Associated Press.

About a year later, on Dec. 17, 2009, Mexican Marines went after another leading member of the cartel, Arturo Beltran Leyva, in an upscale apartment north of Mexico City.

At the end of a lengthy battle fought with grenades and guns, the kingpin was dead, along with six of his men.

For a moment, it seemed like a victory in the drug war. The Marines lost one man, Melquisedet Angulo Cordova, whom they buried with honors.

But after the funeral, assassins broke into a house and killed the Marine's mother, his aunt, a sister, and a brother...

Read the full story at The Commercial Appeal.


Drug Crises


Drug Crises

Drug Crises

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