Unaided by police forces or American agents, Mexican military intelligence last week raided the safe house of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, a.k.a. “The King of Ice,” one of the continent’s most wanted drug traffickers. Last Thursday, three helicopters covered from the air while 200 paratroppers rushed on the target in a plush suburb of Guadalajara, reports Time. The operation commander was the first through the door – and was shot dead with a pistol by a startled Coronel. The next soldier through fired two shots into the drug lord’s chest, killing him instantly. A bodyguard rapidly surrendered. The reign of the King of Ice was over.
A triumphant looking President Felipe Calderón appeared in the same city of Guadalajara less than four hours later to speak at a scheduled meeting with business leaders. Looking his most upbeat in several months, he assured the executives that he will succeed in bringing down the drug cartels that seem to have brought Mexico to the brink of the abyss. After months of bad news on the drug war – including massacres, car bombs and prison breakouts – the conservative Calderón has some reason for celebration. Coronel, 56, was one of the biggest players in the drug industry, estimated to smuggle tons of cocaine and crystal meth into the United States every month. The FBI had a $5 million dollar reward for his capture.