By Erica Laster Impunity Watch Reporter, North America
MEXICO CITY, Mexico – In a raid on a drug trafficking house in a wealthy suburb of Guadalajara Thursday night, soldiers shot and killed Ignacio Coronel Villareal (Nacho Coronel), a top Mexican drug cartel leader. His death comes the same day as the United States embassy in Mexico City announced the closure of the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez, a city located across the border from El Paso, Texas.
The consulate will close beginning today and remain closed “until the security review is completed.” The consulates’ closure comes amid rising concerns over border violence between the cities. This past March, a vehicle containing a U.S. employee at the consulate, a Mexican citizen with ties to the consulate and the employees’ husband was gunned down, killing all three after leaving a children’s party. Mexico and the United State’s bordering states have seen a rise in unchecked violence and death in the past 4 years.
Nacho Coronel was wanted in the U.S. with a $5 million reward offered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for any information leading to his arrest. A 12 count indictment by the U.S. Department of Justice revealed accusations that Nacho and 42 others imported almost 200 metric tons of cocaine and heroin into the U.S. An estimated $5.8 billion in proceeds were returned to Mexico from drug sales in Canada and the U.S. Known as the “King of Crystal,” the FBI believed that Coronel was “the forerunner in producing massive amounts of methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories in Mexico, then smuggling it into the U.S.”
Mexico based security consultant, Alberto Islas, told reporters that as the “most sophisticated drug dealer in terms of logistics and money laundering,” Nacho Coronel’s death would probably result in a momentary “dip” in supplies to the U.S.
Nacho’s right hand man, Francisco Quinonez, was also arrested by soldiers in Thursday night’s raid. Quinonez alone accompanied Coronel to his mansion in the western city of Guadalajara. General Ruiz Villegas told reporters that Coronel opened fire on military soldiers, wounding one and killing another in his attempt to escape.
While his death deals a heavy blow to his Sinaloa cartel, it signals a massive victory for Mexican President Felipe Calderon. Some weary Mexicans have balked at President Calderon’s policies. Many more have accused him of being allied with Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, a fugitive since his escape from prison in 2000, and the previous leader of Sinaloa cartel.
In 2006, President Calderon sent approximately 45,000 soldiers to reclaim areas of the country heavily controlled by drug traffickers. More than half that number, a staggering 26,000, have died since then in drug-related violence.
Photo Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal
For More Information Please Visit:
Wall Street Journal Top Mexican Trafficker Killed In Raid – 30 July 2010
MSNBC US Consulate In Ciudad Juarez Closes For Security – 30 July 2010
Reuters U.S. Closes Consulate in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez – 29 July 2010