MEXICO – Mexican drug lord Hector Beltran Leyva, a prisoner since 2014, died of cardiac arrest on Sunday in Toluca city, Mexico, the Interior Ministry said.
Beltran Leyva, 56, suffered chest pains in his cell at the Federal Social Readaptation Center No. 1, Altiplano, the authorities said in a statement to the media.
He was taken to Adolfo Lopez Mateos hospital in Toluca, where he died around 4:00 pm (2200 GMT) while he was receiving medical care.
Beltran Leyva was arrested in October 2014 in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato state, and from 2016 he was detained in the Altiplano federal prison, where he was facing federal prosecution for various crimes.
In April 2017, his extradition to the United States was prevented due to a procedural violation.
Mexican authorities have ordered an autopsy to confirm the cause of his death, after which the body will be handed over to his family.
Hector Beltran Leyva took control of the cartel in 2009 after the death of his brother Arturo, who died in a shootout with the Mexican Navy in Cuernavaca, in the central state of Morelos.
In addition to drugs trafficking, money laundering and arms smuggling, the cartel is blamed for numerous cases of kidnapping, torture and assassinations in the center and south of the country, particularly in the states of Morelos and Guerrero.