Alfredo Beltran Leyva was extradited to the US

In a surprise move, Alfredo Beltran Leyva, the former leader of Mexican drug trafficking group the Beltran Leyva Organization, was extradited to the United States six years after his capture, even as Sinaloa Cartel leader Chapo Guzman remains in the hands of Mexico authorities. 

Following an extended legal battle to remain in Mexico, on November 15, Alfredo, alias "El Mochomo" was extradited to the United States, the US Department of Justice announced. On November 17, Beltran Leyva pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking in a federal court in Washington, reported the Associated Press.

Beltran Leyva's legal team reportedly fought his extradition request from the United States by filing a type of appeal, known as an "amparo," which shifts the burden of proof to the state and often delays extradition processes for months or even years. However, the amparo was rejected in October 2013 and one month later Mexican authorities agreed to extradite the alleged drug kingpin, reported CNN Mexico.

InSight Crime Analysis

The extradition of Beltran Leyva six years after his capture suggests relations between Mexico and its northern neighbor remain strong, despite a tense political climate between the two countries. For years, it remained doubtful if Beltran Leyva -- who reportedly continued to run the operations of his organization while in prison -- would ever be extradited.

The volatile history of US-Mexico relations surrounding extraditions goes back to the mid 1980s. In 1985, Mexico denied the US's request to extradite major drug trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero, suspected of being involved in the torture and killing of a US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officer. Quintero's early release from a Mexican prison in August 2013 was strongly criticized by the United States, and further complicated US-Mexico relations. These ongoing tensions are considered to be a principal factor in why drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman has yet to be extradited to the United States following his capture in February. 

Alfredo Beltran Leyva is a former head of drug trafficking group the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), along with his brothers Arturo and Hector, alias "El H". El Chapo Guzman is believed to have given information leading to Alfredo Beltran Leyva's arrest in 2008, leading to a fall-out between two criminal cartels that had previously worked together to traffic vast quantities of drugs to the United States. During the ensuing feud, the BLO allied themselves with the Zetas and the Sinaloa Cartel with the Gulf Cartel and Familia Michoacana.

SEE ALSO: BLO News and Profile

The bloody war with the Sinaloa Cartel and the killing of Arturo Beltran Leyva by Mexican marines in 2009 significantly weakened the BLO. While there have been signs of a resurgence, the capture of the last remaining Beltran Leyva brother, Hector, in October 2014 left another serious void in the organization's leadership. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

In August 2002, the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) greeted Colombia's new president with a mortar attack that killed 14 people during his inauguration. The attack was intended as a warning to the fiercely anti-FARC newcomer. But it became the opening salvo of...

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

The Reality of the FARC Peace Talks in Havana

If we are to believe the Colombian government, the question is not if, but rather when, an end to 50 years of civil conflict will be reached. Yet the promise of President Juan Manuel Santos that peace can be achieved before the end of 2014 is simply...

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 Leader 'Viejo Lin' on El Salvador Gang Truce

Barrio 18 leader Carlos Lechuga Mojica, alias "El Viejo Lin," is one of the most prominent spokesmen for El Salvador's gang truce. InSight Crime co-director Steven Dudley spoke with Mojica in Cojutepeque prison in October 2012 about how the maras view the controversial peace process, which has...

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

'Chepe Luna,' the Police and the Art of Escape

The United States -- which through its antinarcotics, judicial and police attaches was very familiar with the routes used for smuggling, and especially those used for people trafficking and understood that those traffickers are often one and the same -- greeted the new government of Elias Antonio...

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC and the Drug Trade: Siamese Twins?

The FARC have always had a love-hate relationship with drugs. They love the money it brings, funds which have allowed them to survive and even threaten to topple the state at the end of the 1990s. They hate the corruption and stigma narcotics have also brought to...

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

The FARC 1964-2002: From Ragged Rebellion to Military Machine

On May 27, 1964 up to one thousand Colombian soldiers, backed by fighter planes and helicopters, launched an assault against less than fifty guerrillas in the tiny community of Marquetalia. The aim of the operation was to stamp out once and for all the communist threat in...

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

MS-13's 'El Barney': A Trend or an Isolated Case?

In October 2012, the US Treasury Department designated the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) as a transnational criminal organization (TCO). While this assertion seems unfounded, there is one case that illustrates just why the US government is worried about the future.

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

Ivan Rios Bloc: the FARC's Most Vulnerable Fighting Division

When considering the possibilities that the FARC may break apart, the Ivan Rios Bloc is a helpful case study because it is perhaps the weakest of the FARC's divisions in terms of command and control, and therefore runs the highest risk of fragmentation and criminalization.

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

The Infiltrators: Corruption in El Salvador's Police

Ricardo Mauricio Menesses Orellana liked horses, and the Pasaquina rodeo was a great opportunity to enjoy a party. He was joined at the event -- which was taking place in the heart of territory controlled by El Salvador's most powerful drug transport group, the Perrones -- by the...

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

Criminalization of FARC Elements Inevitable

While there is no doubt that the FARC have only a tenuous control over some of their more remote fronts, there is no evidence of any overt dissident faction within the movement at the moment.