MEXICO CITY (LALATE) – Narco leader La Barbie has been arrested; news of the La Barbie (Edgar Valdez Villarreal) arrest headlines Mexican noticias tonight across the country exclaiming “Detenido el capo del narcotráfico”, “Detencion al narcotraficante”, and “Capturado traficante”. La Barbie was born in Texas but had become one of Mexico’s most wanted criminals; his name was a reference to his pale white skin and blue eyes.
A $2 million reward for his arrest posted by U.S. officials is said to have aided today’s developments. Polícia Federal do Mexico confirmed his arrest Monday after Villarreal faced multiple charges, the most recent filed back in July. Villarreal has a charge against him from 2002 out of Louisiana, one in 1998 in Texas, and another in June in Atlanta for conduct between 2004 and 2006. Yet, Villarreal remained the only U.S. citizen on Mexico’s list of drug lords with a reward against him.
Orignally from Laredo, Texas, Villarreal said to be extremely popular up to his senior year of high school. But his life changed in 1992 when he was arrested on negligent homicide charges. A grand jury did not charge him for the car accident which took the life a high school teacher.
Eight years later, Villarreal was suddenly La Barbie, a top official in the Beltran Leyva cartel, a subsection of the Cartel of Sinaloa at the time. During the escape of El Chapo (previously detailed on LALATE), La Barbie, already upset with the Cartel Gulf, started a war against the group. With El Chapo support, Beltran Leyva went to war with the Cartel Gulf. Details of the events in the next eight years are not clear. But the Beltran Leyva would later split with Sinaloa Cartel.