La Barbie, named for having light complexion like a Ken doll, had control one of a faction of the Beltran Leyva Cartel and had been running his own cartel.
here's some wiki on the august 30, 2010 arrest:
"Valdez was captured in Mexico by the Mexican Federal Police.U.S. and Mexican officials described Valdez's arrest on Monday as the culmination of a yearlong pursuit and stronger intelligence sharing between the two countries. Mexican police said they chased Valdez across five Mexican states for a year, a pursuit that intensified in recent months as they raided home after home owned by the drug lord, missing him but nabbing several of his allies. Among those taken into custody was his girlfriend and her mother, Valdez's U.S. lawyer said. "This has been going on for quite a while," attorney Kent Schaffer told The Associated Press. "So you figure it's just a matter of time." Authorities believe Valdez can provide intelligence on other top traffickers, including Sinaloa chief Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted drug lord"
Question, isn't it back to the economy for public relations in Mexico? Or is it a balance of both the economy and drug wars while anxiety remains high? Last I heard the #1 priority of the electorate in Mexico was the economy.
Once they finish the thorough dismantling of the Zetas and their allies as has been happening, a potential lull in violence could signal a new phase. From the current phase of balancing both problems of a young recovery from very tough economic times and the problem of sensationalist gang violence, the balancing act could become a strong focus on the economy soon in Mexico.
It has been a long rise and fall of the violent drug cartels in Mexico, from decades of rivalries and beyond.
The Rise was clear cut but not quick: 1930's prohibition era smuggling of liquor, marijuana smuggling, as demand grew so did supply, but valuable drugs from Colombia gave the Colombian cartels power to distribute through their choice of locations such as the Caribean. The stricter enforcement of the Caribean and the prosecution of the Colombian cartels and splintering shifted power to Mexican smuggling and criminal groups. Hegemony by a Juarez based cartel became the rule.
The fall was prolonged, splintering to the Sinaloans, Tijuana, Juarez, and Gulf. As the crackdown ensued, the capture of additional leadership, further weakening Tijuana and the Gulf as leaders were captured, killed, and extradited, splintering of the Federation was followed by splintering of the Sinaloan Cartel as the Beltran leadership was targeted and they broke away.
The rise of the Familia Michoacana as their own cartel, the splintering of the Zeta's from the Gulf, the splintering of the Pelones from the Sinaloans first with the Beltran Leyvas, then against the Beltran Leyva's.
None of the top cartels have unaffected leadership, with many killed, captured, or in jail. The weakening of the Tijuana and Juarez cartels remain the most evident sign that things have changed. The near-elimination of the Beltran-Leyva factions is a more recent one.
The recent Sinaloan prizes seem to be part of a very careful and deliberate plan to gather information around one of today's most powerful and long-existing drug trafficking organizations in Mexico. After Chapo Guzman was captured and escaped, none of the top leadership was succesfully brought down until Ignacio Coronel was killed, although a drug cartel boss's son who was involved in the business and some of their major lieutenants seeking war over territory in Tijuana in the case of El Teo, have been captured in 2010 as well.
Analysts say there are for the first time signs that the cartels are reacting with fear of the Mexican state and its laws.
Others go so far as to say that there are evident signs of the cartels beginning to disintegrate.
We see some signs as somehow evidence continues to turn up on top leadership with intelligence work and reward money paying off, and with cartel leadership choosing between themselves and their rivals within and beyond their own cartels.
Politics continue to dictate a need to press for more drug enforcement reforms of money laundering, to strengthen a weak version of laws found in Colombia and the US.
Then what, especially if the cartels do disintegrate?
Contiuing to seek crime-reduction is a must.
However, so is the economy.
If the PRI won't even cooperate for 1 year, the government's options are a question of presenting new measure on modernizing the economy, public relations related to the economy, the efforts made by the PAN, and the stalled process created by other parties and other politically interested groups. I think Calderon's possible reforms between PRI and PAN early on did more for Mexico than the last 13 years of leadership with a splintered congress.