Will the violent death of Mexican drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva bring more bloodshed?


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The death of drug cartel leader Arturo Beltran Leyva in a shootout with Mexican authorities, though praised by President Felipe Calderon as a major victory against rampant drug trafficking and violence, has left many authorities and residents expecting more bloodshed.

Residents of the upscale Altitude apartment complex, scene of the shootout Wednesday night, and other locals were reportedly left cleaning bloodstains while wondering whether a call for revenge or a move for more power by players within the crime world will bring more violence.


Beltran Leyva, known at the “boss of bosses,” and several suspected members of his Sinaloa-based gang were gunned down at the apartment complex in Cuernavaca during a raid by navy troops. The shootout lasted about one to two hours, according to various accounts, and included drug gang members tossing grenades at the troops. In addition to Beltran Leyva, five suspected cartel members and one navy commando were killed.

Concerns about drug activities also led a judge on Thursday to order Latin Grammy winner Ramon Ayala of the band Bravos del Norte to be held in custody for up to 40 days while investigators decide whether he should be charged in connection with organized crime. Ayala was taken into custody Dec. 11 when the military raided a mansion near Tepoztlan where they say a drug cartel Christmas party was being held. Ayala’s lawyer, who has denied his client has any ties to drug gangs, said the band was performing at the party.

For a detailed look at what Beltran Leyva’s death may mean to the drug underworld, check out Times staff writer Ken Ellingwood’s story here.

-- Efrain Hernandez Jr.