Top Mexican Drug Lord Falls

The Mexican government scored its biggest victory yet against the notorious Sinaloa cartel when one of the group’s top leaders was killed in a shootout with the military on Thursday.

Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, known for starting the production of huge amounts of amphetamine in Mexico, opened fire at a group of soldiers who were set to raid one of his safe houses in the city of Guadalajara, forcing the officers to engage him in a shootout. Coronel was able to fatally hit one soldier and wound another before he was eventually killed.

Coronel’s death could be a big boost to President Felipe Calderon’s anti-drug campaign, which has been heavily criticized for its allegedly soft stance against the Sinaloa cartel.

The FBI, which had offered a $5-million bounty on Coronel’s head, said the operations of the drug kingpin’s group penetrated “throughout the United States, Mexico, and several other European, Central American, and South American countries.”

Coronel’s death leaves Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada as the last two remaining top leaders of the Sinaloa cartel.