Soldiers killed a top leader of the Sinaloa cartel in a raid on his posh hideout, dealing the biggest blow yet to Mexico's most powerful drug gang since President Felipe Calderon launched a military offensive against organized crime in 2006.
Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, a reputed founder of Mexico's methamphetamine trade, was gunned down trying to escape soldiers in the western city of Guadalajara. Mexican authorities says he fired on soldiers as helicopters hovered overhead and troops closed in.
Coronel was a close associate of Mexico's most wanted man, Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, and was No. 3 in the organization after Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada.
"Nacho Coronel tried to escape, and fired on military personnel, killing one soldier and wounding another," Gen. Edgar Luis Villegas said at a news conference in Mexico City. "Responding to the attack, this 'capo' died."
The raid "significantly affects the operational capacity and drug distribution of the organization run by Guzman," he added.