Mexican Drug Lord Is Arrested
Published: October 26, 2008
TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) — Mexican security forces have arrested the drug cartel leader Eduardo Arellano Félix, one of the international traffickers most sought by the United States, after a shootout in this border city, the government said Sunday.
Mr. Arellano Félix, nicknamed the Doctor, is a senior member of a family cartel embroiled in a violent struggle for control of the lucrative drug trade in which more than 3,700 people have been killed in Mexico this year, including 450 in Tijuana.
He is accused of running the cartel along with his sister Enedina, the only main suspect from the family who remains at large after several brothers have been arrested or killed.
The police arrested Mr. Arellano Félix on Saturday after they chased his car to a three-story home in an upscale neighborhood, according to federal police officials in Tijuana. A three-hour gun battle with more than 100 police officers and soldiers ensued, leaving the home riddled with bullet holes.
The United States indicted Mr. Arellano Félix in 2003 on drug-smuggling and money-laundering charges and had offered a reward of up to $5 million for his capture.
President Felipe Calderón has sent tens of thousands of troops and federal police officers across the country to fight escalating drug violence since late 2006, but there have been few arrests of major cartel leaders.
The Arellano Félix family dominated the smuggling of cocaine and marijuana into California in the 1990s and was feared for its ruthless elimination of enemies.
Francisco Arellano Félix, Eduardo’s youngest brother, was sentenced to life in prison in the United States last November after being captured while deep-sea fishing off Mexico. Mexican authorities agreed in June to extradite another brother, Benjamín, to the United States to face smuggling charges.