Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO)
The Beltran Leyva Organization was founded by four brothers: Marcos Arturo, Carlos, Alfredo, and Héctor. The brothers got their start as poppy farmers in the state of Sinaloa. Along the way they also became the security force and enforcers for the Sinaloa OCG and Juaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera. In order to counter the power of their rivals in the Gulf Cartel, which had created an armed wing (Los Zetas) made up of former Mexican special forces officers, the BLO recruited U.S. born Edgar Valdez Villarreal AKA “La Barbie” as a lieutenant in its armed wing that served as the Sinaloa organization’s enforcers.
The death of Arturo Beltran Leyva in December 2009 following an intelligence operation carried out by the Mexican Marines began a year-long decline for the organization. Throughout 2010 several key family members were captured, along with the capture of “La Barbie.” These major blows have sparked tensions within the organization, a dramatic increase in violence on their home turf of Cuernavaca, and growing speculation about the organization’s disintegration and abandonment of their traditional alliances.
In its place, a new group has emerged claiming to be the Pacifico Sur organization. In all likelihood, this organization was formed out of the remnants of the Arturo Beltran Leyva organization headed by Héctor Beltran Leyva (Arturo’s brother). Héctor took over the family business after his brother’s death, and was fighting for control of the organization with “La Barbie” the former head of the BLO’s operations in Cuernavaca and Acapulco, and the man in charge of the BLO’s hit men.On August 30, 2010 “La Barbie” was arrested by federal police forces in the state of Mexico. For several weeks the Mexican armed forces had conducted several operations in states adjacent to Mexico in an effort to locate safe houses and weapons cache’s linked to Valdez Villarreal.
In order to ensure its survival, Héctor’s rebranded Pacifico Sur has adopted a new strategy to fight the larger and better established organizations, by pursuing an alliance with the Juarez organization and Los Zetas. The BLO previously formed part of the Sinaloa enterprise and helped manage transshipment points for narcotics along the U.S.-Mexico border. During early 2009, the BLO began to encroach on the territory of its former ally in states such as Morelos, Guerrero, Jalisco, Sonora and Durango touching off a series of violent incidents in parts of central and southwestern Mexico.