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Ambassador Pascual Congratulates Mexico for Arrest of Edgar Valdez Villarreal

Mexico City, September 1, 2010 – United States Ambassador Carlos Pascual congratulates the Government of Mexico and the Federal Police on the arrest of Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez Villarreal, the result of a long-term cooperative intelligence operation aimed at capturing one of the most violent drug traffickers in history. There are multiple criminal charges pending against Valdez in Mexico and the United States.

“Mexican law enforcement agencies are clearly demonstrating results in their efforts to dismantle drug trafficking organizations and bring greater security to the people of Mexico,” Ambassador Pascual said. He praised the determination of the Mexican law enforcement agencies, in particular the Public Security Secretariat (SSP), that culminated in the August 30 arrest in the State of Mexico of Valdez and approximately a dozen of his alleged accomplices. Valdez’s arrest follows other successful operations delivering major blows to organized crime in Mexico, such as the Mexican military takedowns of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel and Arturo Beltran Leyva (ABL), the capture of Eduardo Teodoro “El Teo” García Simental, and the arrests of numerous plaza bosses across cartel lines.

Valdez’s drug trafficking organization was once considered one of the most powerful and violent criminal organizations operating in Mexico, with distribution cells throughout the United States. After its 2008 rupture from the Sinaloa cartel, the ABL cartel was responsible for the manufacture, acquisition, storage, importation, and distribution of multi-ton quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana from Mexico into the United States, as well as the transportation of millions of dollars from the United States to Mexico.

The ABL syndicate was responsible for the procurement of arms and ammunitions from the United States in furtherance of their violent criminal enterprise which contributed to rising rates of violence within Mexico, especially in Guerrero, Mexico and Morelos. Its members routinely commited kidnapping, torture, murder, and various other acts of violence, many perpetrated against Mexican law enforcement officials.

A U.S. citizen born in Laredo, Texas, Valdez Villarreal was a high-ranking member of the ABL drug trafficking organization who recently led a bloody turf war against Hector Beltran Leyva, Arturo Beltran Leyva’s surviving brother, as the two factions vied for control of the cartel following Arturo Beltran Leyva’s death in December 2009. In addition to the Mexican charges he will face, Valdez-Villarreal is charged in publicly-filed court documents in the Northern District of Georgia and in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

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