Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SEDENA reports capture of Héctor Beltrán Leyva, one of Mexico's most wanted drug capos

The last meal at Mario's

*Updated Oct. 3*
Guadalajara -
Mexico's national defense department (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional) has reported the probable detention of drug kingpin Héctor Beltrán Leyva by federal security forces.

SEDENA said DNA tests are being carried out to confirm his identity.

Héctor, 49, rose to command the Beltrán Leyva cartel after its founder, his brother Arturo, was killed by Mexican marines in a prolonged Cuernavaca firefight in December 2009. The U.S. State Dept. had offered $5 million dollars for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Héctor, while Mexico put over $2 million dollars on the table. He was among the highest ranking cartel bosses still at large. Mexico takes down Guerrero organized crime boss.
During an evening press conference Mexican authorities said Héctor was captured in a seafood restaurant in tourist popular San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato state, where he led a "low profile" life under an assumed named while posing as a local real estate agent and art dealer. SEDENA said Héctor lived in neighboring Querétaro state, where he shunned typical cartel boss symbols such as SUVs and luxury vehicles. Mexico's national prosecuting agency, the federal Procuraduría, reported that investigators had been on Héctor's trail for almost a year. He and a companion - said to be the cartel's chief accountant and financial officer - were armed, but "not a shot was fired," officials said.

In addition to many pending charges in Mexico, Héctor Beltrán Leyva faces federal indictments in New York and Illinois for narcotics trafficking and money laundering. Procuraduría officials said his main business in recent years has been transporting South American produced cocaine to the U.S. and Europe, but added that he may have forged alliances with other groups to produce and export synthetic drugs such as methamphetamine.

Mexico's president signaled his gratitude to military forces. The now 22 month old PRI administration maintains that almost 90 of the top narco kingpins it identified after taking office on Dec. 1, 2012 have been captured, killed or decommissioned by security forces, most of them based upon the effective use of intelligence rather than with armed confrontations.

Oct. 3 - In an article well worth the read, Mexico's Milenio network today reported the logistics of Héctor's takedown. He and his chief confederate entered the humble restaurant Mario's about 1:30 p.m. and ordered lavishly. Well over an hour later two couples came in and sat near by, asking only for appetizers and lemonade. The female members were described by employees as "young, pretty, tall and strong." As Héctor finished his meal and relaxed into food induced tranquility, the four rose, approached his table and displayed handguns, identifying themselves as federal agents. Heavily armed soldiers rushed in almost immediately. The cook later told reporters, "I thought it was the end." The 85 year old mother of the owner, who had a bird's eye view of everything, began to weep. "Calm down, little lady," one of the agents told her. "We're just doing our job. Nobody's going to bother you." In a reference to Héctor's impoverished upbringing and his preference for simple things, Milenio noted, "They say your origin is your destiny." Added Mario's owner, "At least his last meal as a free man was a great one." The agents paid their own tab before they left - but not that of Héctor and his partner in crime, which remained on their table.

May 16 - Mexico announces capture of another top Zeta, Z-16, in Monterrey
May 20 - Los Zetas boss of Ciudad Victoria captured by Mexican troops, government reports
May 25 - Mexican security forces capture Gulf Cartel kingpin

Arturo Beltrán Leyva met his end at a December 2009 Christmas party, where he and his guests were well attended by an assortment of Cuernavaca prostitutes. Acting on military intelligence the Armada de México abruptly crashed the event, leaving many dead in their wake.

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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