Mexican drug lord Hector Beltran Leyva, a onetime associate of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who has been in a maximum security prison since 2014, has died following a heart attack.
According to the BBC, Beltran Leyva was facing charges for trafficking cannabis, heroin, methamphetamines and cocaine. The Beltran Leyva brothers built a powerful organization in Sinaloa which later expanded into other parts of Mexico and grew to also engage in extortion, human trafficking and racketeering. The cartel controlled many smuggling routes from Mexico into the United States. Hector Beltran Leyva reportedly took control of the cartel when his brother, Arturo, was killed in a confrontation with police in 2009.
The Beltran Leyva brothers were once comrades of El Chapo and allegedly put him on to the cocaine trafficking game. They factions fell out in 2008 and a bloody turf war ensued, with the Beltran Leyva brothers forming alliances with other cartels to try to take El Chapo out.
Beltran Leyva’s brothers, Alfredo and Carlos, are currently incarcerated.