Mexican Navy Kills Kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva in Two-Hour Gun Battle

After a dramatic standoff, Mexican authorities report cartel kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva and three members of his organization were shot down in a two-hour battle with a navy assault team.

Two hundred sailors raided an upscale apartment complex in Cuernavaca, just south of Mexico City, according to a navy statement. Cartel gunmen hurled grenades that injured three sailors during the gun battle that ended in the death of Beltran and three of his cartel members. A fifth member of Beltran Leyva’s crew committed suicide during the shootout. According to the NY Daily News, the killing of Mexico’s “Boss of Bosses” is very significant, marking one of the biggest victories for President Calderon’s war on drugs. Calderon, who is in Copenhagen for the climate summit, said, the raid is "an important achievement for the government and people of Mexico."

Beltran Leyva was notorious for numerous murders and beheadings. The Huffington Post reports, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says the Beltran Leyva cartel is key in the importation and distribution of tons of cocaine in the United States, as well as large quantities of heroin. Mexico considers the group one of its six major cartels.