Most wanted Mexican drug lord killed in shootout: army

13:49, December 17, 2009      

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Arturo Beltran Leyva, one of the most wanted drug lords in Mexico, was killed in a shootout, the Mexican Army reported Wednesday.

The army said in a statement that Beltran Leyva and three members of his drug cartel died in the gun battle in Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City.

A fifth drug cartel member committed suicide during the shootout.

Beltran Leyva, also known as the "boss of bosses," was listed by the Mexican government as one of its 24 most wanted drug lords. Authorities had offered 2.1 million U.S. dollars as an award for his capture.

Beltran Leyva was one of four brothers who split from the Sinaloa Cartel and aligned themselves with Los Zetas, a group of former soldiers hired by the Gulf Cartel as hitmen.

The split is believed to have fueled much of the bloodshed across the country, where more than 14,000 people have been killed in the past three years.

The Sinaloa Cartel has members in 17 of Mexico's 32 administrative regions, or states. The cartel is primarily involved in the trafficking and distribution of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin into the United States.

Source: Xinhua
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