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Alleged Head of Beltrán Leyva Cartel Captured in Central Mexico

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Mexican soldiers detain cartel suspects in Michoacán, 2007 (Diego Fernández/la Agencia de Fotografía AP México via Wikimedia Commons)

Reports surfaced Wednesday of the capture of Héctor Beltrán Leyva, the former head of the Beltrán Leyva drug cartel in Mexico.

Fronteras Desk correspondent Lorne Matalon joined us this morning to talk about the significance of the arrest.

The AP reports Beltrán Leyva was captured at seafood restaurant in the city of San Miguel de Allende, in the Mexican state of Guanajuato:
No shots were fired in the brief operation, which culminated an 11-month investigation, federal criminal investigations chief Tomas Zeron said at an evening news conference.
The 49-year-old allegedly took over the Beltrán Leyva cartel's operations after his brother Arturo Beltrán Leyva was killed by Mexican authorities in 2009.

The AP has more on the Beltrán Leyva cartel:

The gang terrorized parts of central Mexico for years, including Morelos state to the south of Mexico City, although it declined somewhat after the brothers' arrests and killing. Last November, the U.S. Treasury Department said the cartel appeared to be reorganizing and regaining some power.

"Obviously this is not the Beltran Leyvas' organization in its strongest moment ... but it continues to be a criminal organization capable of generating localized violence in some states," Mexican security expert Jorge Chabat said.
Travis Bubenik is All Things Considered Host and Big Bend Reporter at Marfa Public Radio.