FACTBOX: Mexican drug lord Arturo Beltran Leyva

Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:21am EST

(Reuters) - Mexican security forces killed Mexican Arturo Beltran Leyva, one of Mexico's most wanted drug traffickers, in a gun battle in south of Mexico City on Wednesday.

Here are some facts on the top trafficker, who was fighting for dominance in the country's billion-dollar narcotics trade:

* Beltran Leyva, who dubbed himself "The Boss of Bosses", was an influential member of the country's most powerful cartel, the Sinaloa gang, until he split after a betrayal by Mexico's most wanted trafficker Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman led to the arrest of his brother Alfredo Beltran Leyva in January 2008.

* Beltran Leyva, who was born in the Pacific state of Sinaloa and believed to be in his late 40s, was one of five brothers who broke with Guzman and won control of smuggling routes in central and southern Mexico and the Mexican capital.

* Beltran Leyva, who narrowly escaped capture in May of last year, also allied himself with the Gulf cartel and their feared Zeta hitmen in northeastern Mexico. That cartel controls drug trafficking into Texas and the U.S. East Coast.

* Beltran Leyva had a $2.4 million bounty on his head in Mexico. He was indicted in the United States in August of this year for putting nearly 200 metric tons of cocaine and large quantities of heroin onto U.S. streets between 1990 and 2008 along with Guzman and other Sinaloa smugglers, as well as smuggling some $5.8 billion back into Mexico in cash.

* Beltran Leyva enjoyed protection from corrupt police in Mexico City and surrounding states, moving between luxurious mansions and apartments. At one mansion outside the Mexican capital, police stormed a party last year where a Colombian-led gang working for Beltran Leyva kept two adult African lions, two tigers and two black panthers in cages.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott in Monterrey; editing by Todd Eastham)