Big News From Nayarit: Edgar Veytia arrested

In fascinating news from Mexico’s heroin world, Edgar Veytia was arrested Wednesday at the San Diego-Mexico border.

Veytia is the Attorney General for the state of Nayarit, and a figure bigger in the public mind than the state’s governor – which is rare in Mexico.

He was charged under an indictment out of New York alleging that he conspired to smuggle heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine into the United States.

Those who’ve read Dreamland know the importance of Nayarit in our heroin supply. Many have alleged that Veytia protected the heroin trade, in an alliance with a large and new cartel known as Jalisco New Generation, who has taken control of the region over the last six years.

Proceso, the Mexican new weekly, recently published this article calling him the “dark Prosecutor,” and repeating allegations that he had protected the drug trade.

Veytia began his career simply enough, as an attorney handling the taxi concessions for the city of Tepic. But in time, he was place in charge of the state’s anti-kidnapping squad and from there elevated to Attorney General.

(Stay tuned for a blog post later today about my own (brief) encounter with Edgar Veytia.)

In Nayarit, he has promoted an image of himself as a tireless, almost God-like, fighter against crime, subduing the violence that racked the state during 2010 and 2011. The governor of Nayarit named him government official of the year.

Veytia has several corridos – ballads – written about him, promoting this image. The words to one song read, in part:

“Nayarit was a war zone, body mounted and the state needed a miracle sent from the Lord above.

Edgar Veytia is the name of this miracle, who returned peace to the land, risking his life

He’s been able to let people feel better, in a peaceful state and for that I thank God.”

In February, the Mexican Marines shot it out with – and killed – a wanted leader of the Beltran Leyva Cartel — Juan Francisco Patron Sanchez, aka H2 – who lived a few doors down from Edgar Veytia in the city of Tepic, Nayarit’s capital.

A businessman in Los Angeles who is from Nayarit, in an interview in 2014, told me Veytia had him kidnapped. (More on that interview later.)

So far, it’s unclear how Veytia was at the border and able to be arrested. I suppose we’ll hear  more on that as the case unfolds.

Leaving aside the charges against Veytia, the Mexican drug trade since its origins in the 1970s has depended on political protection, collusion and corruption.

More later today when I have time to write.


Filed under Border, Drugs, Mexico, The Heroin Heartland

6 Responses to Big News From Nayarit: Edgar Veytia arrested

  1. H L

    This man was a nightmare for every one here in Nayarit, if you have a nice car or a property and if he likes it, he take it from you using the local police to do it, and the local newspapers never write something about that because of the risk of being pursuit from veytia

  2. Ricki

    Interesting about the methamphetamine. Meth seems to be back on the upsurge here in NE Ohio, much coming from Mexico (unless whipped up at home) and sometimes cut with fentanyl. Scary.

  3. This is big news and I’m anxious to see how it unfolds. Readers ask me all the time where I get ideas for my books and I always say the news out of Mexico. That’s when they give me a sideways look, as if to say that level of official corruption isn’t believable . . .

  4. RG

    And the Saga continues on the highest leves of heroin and cocaine consume in the USA

  5. Joe Burling

    This is good news especially after reading Sam Quinones’ post about the overdose death of Isabella Sammartino. One of Mr. Quinones points is can we solve the opioid epidemic by arrests. His point is well need to arrest the traffickers. This arrest is a step in the right direction.

  6. Donna Constante-Trinidad

    And the Saga continue s on corruption at the highest levels of Government in Mexico.

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