Mexican drug lord arrested

In World News on September 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Being held by Mexican authorites, drug lord known as La Barbie was captured on Tuesday. Photo courtesy Google images

        By: Kristen Hegel

          “The capture of Valdez Villarreal is a high-impact blow against organized crime,” Alejandro Poire, spokesman for Mexico’s president, stated in response to the capture of the dangerous drug lord known as “La Barbie.” Valdez gets the nickname from his light complexion and blue eyes, but investigators in the US and Mexico prefer to refer to him as one of the most ruthless drug traffickers in all of Mexico.

            Valdez’s criminal record dates back to 2004, when Valdez and his men began trafficking thousands of pounds of cocaine a month from Mexico into the US. Ever since the death of the Beltran Leyva cartel leader, Artuto Beltran Leyva, Valdez has been controlling the Beltran Leyva operations. The dispute between Arturo Leyva’s brother, Hector Beltran Leyva, and Valdez has stirred up violence around the once peaceful outskirts of Mexico City. The fights over territory keep spreading, reaching resort cities like Acapulco, Mexico and within miles of the US-Mexico border. Valdez, the 37-year-old and Texas native, was once part of the Sinaloa cartel, which was once an ally of the Beltran Leyva cartel. The 2008 split in the cartels’ alliance is one the main causes of the increased gang violence in Mexico. According to authorities, the four decapitated bodies found hanging from a bridge in Cuernavaca last week were a threat to Hector Beltran Leyva from Valdez and his alliances.

            The violent acts surrounding the drug war are also affecting Mexican traditions. The September 15 celebration of Mexico’s independence from Spain in the city of Juarez is being cancelled. Although no threats have been made, authorities don’t want to risk the lives of people on what is now some of the most dangerous turf in Mexico. Mexican authorities are not only cracking down on gangs but are also investigating their own forces in order to get rid of corruption. Federal Police officers in Mexico must take a lie detector test and drug test, and they are often checked by the government. Failure to pass these tests and examinations leads to being fire; 10 percent of the officers have already been fired this year.

            Valdez’s arrest on Tuesday is one of the three major arrests against the Beltran Leyva cartel made by Mexican authorities within the past year. With Valdez and some of his accomplices in jail, authorities can investigate deeper into his drug organization. Further information can help lead to more crackdowns that will hopefully put an end to the drug war that has claimed over 28,000 lives.


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