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Drug cartel boss Arturo Beltran Leyva and the luxurious RIPs of Mexico's narcos

December 21, 2009 |  2:36 pm
We got word over the weekend of the burial place of druglord Arturo Beltran Leyva. Where else? The notorious trafficker was laid to rest in the elaborate Gardens of Humaya in Culiacan, capital of his native Sinaloa state.

The cemetery is a sight to behold, full of elaborate mausoleums decorated in Italian marble, gold leaf and Corinthian columns. Some family crypts are two stories high, complete with air conditioning and sound systems. Many contain life-size portraits of the deceased and several of their favorite items -- bottles of tequila, packs of Marlboros and models of guns. We've mentioned these mausoleums before, and described the painter in Sinaloa who does much of the decorating. 

Beltran Leyva was shot to death Dec. 16 in a ferocious gun battle with Mexican naval commandos. His funeral on Sunday took place under heavy army guard. Some of the funeral wreaths were so large they didn't fit into the mortuary, and many were anonymous. Most of the mourners were women, as many men probably stayed away out of fear of arrest or attack.

Times staff writer Ken Ellingwood covered Beltran Leyva's death and what may happen next. You can take a look at Ellingwood's report here.

-- Tracy Wilkinson in Mexico City