Gunmen Kill Family Of Mexican Drug War Hero In what appears to be a revenge attack in Mexico, gunmen shot dead the family of an elite Mexican marine who had participated in a raid that killed a major drug kingpin. The attack occurred hours after the funeral for the marine, who died after the military raid that killed drug cartel boss Arturo Beltran Leyva.
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Gunmen Kill Family Of Mexican Drug War Hero

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In what appears to be a revenge attack in Mexico, gunmen shot dead the family of an elite Mexican marine who had participated in a raid that killed a major drug kingpin. The attack occurred hours after the funeral for the marine, who died after the military raid that killed drug cartel boss Arturo Beltran Leyva.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Mexico, there appears to be a tragic case of revenge killing. Gunmen have murdered the family of a Marine who died last week when the Mexican military confronted one of the country's top drug lords. The drug Lord was killed. And hours after the Marine was buried as a national hero, suspected hit men from the cartel burst into the home of the Marine's family.

NPR's Jason Beaubien has the story.

JASON BEAUBIEN: After elite troops in the Mexican navy surrounded and killed the head of the Beltran Leyva cartel last week, top security officials in Mexico warned that the drug boss' death would spawn a wave of violence. Melquisedet Angulo was the only soldier killed in the hours-long firefight that brought down Arturo Beltran Leyva, known as The Boss of Bosses. Six of Beltran Leyva's gunmen died with him.

President Felipe Calderon praised Angulo as a national hero who laid down his life for a better Mexico. Late Monday night, just hours after Angulo's funeral, men bashed in his family's door with a sledgehammer, according to local police, and sprayed the family with bullets. His mother, his brother, his sister and an aunt were killed. Usually, Mexican soldiers and elite police troops wear black ski masks to hide their identity. President Calderon's praise of Angulo, after the slaying of the drug lord, revealed his identity and may have inadvertently outed his family. Calderon, in a statement, denounced the attack as cowardly. In a speech yesterday, the president vowed to press forward in his war against the drug cartels.

President FELIPE CALDERON (Mexico): (Foreign language spoken)

BEAUBIEN: In this fight against organized crime, President Calderon declared, we will not give in and we will not go backwards.

Arturo Beltran Leyva was one of the most wanted men in Mexico. His cartel, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, moved billions of dollars worth of cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the United States each year. Beltran Leyva had a reputation for being incredibly well-connected, both within the Mexican government and with his Columbian cocaine suppliers. He also was known to be brutal. He allegedly ordered executions ranging from the son of his top rival to the head of the federal police.

Beltran Leyva's death was the government's most significant strike yet against the drug cartels. Meanwhile, this morning in Culiacan, Sinaloa - the same place where Arturo Beltran Leyva was buried this week - armed gunmen opened fire on the state secretary of tourism, killing him and his driver.

Jason Beaubien, NPR News.

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