Arturo Beltran Leyva was killed by security forces in a shootout in a high-end residential complex in the city of Cuernavaca.
One of Mexico's most-wanted drug gang leaders has been shot dead.
Mexican navy officials said Wednesday Arturo Beltran Leyva, head of one of the most powerful drug crime syndicates, was killed by security forces in a shootout in a high-end residential complex in the city of Cuernavaca.
At least three other gang members were also killed in the clash, while a fourth committed suicide.
Beltran Leyva's death is a victory for President Felipe Calderon's drug offensive as gang-related violence is jumping. Despite deploying nearly 50,000 troops against the cartels since taking office in 2006, more than 14,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence.
Beltran Leyva, called the "boss of bosses," ran the Beltran Leyva drug cartel along with his four brothers.
He was wanted by both the U.S. and Mexican authorities.
In August, he was among several suspected drug cartel leaders charged by the U.S. attorney general with funneling drugs in to the United States.
Twelve indictments stemming from investigations in Chicago and New York accuse the cartel and others of importing nearly 200 metric tons of cocaine into the U.S. since 1990.
Authorities seized more than 32,000 kilograms of cocaine and $20 million worth of cash during the course of the investigation.
Some information for this report was provided by AP Reuters.