Mexican Drug Cartel Leader Arrested
The Mexican government said Sunday that after a shootout in Tijuana, Mex., security forces have arrested drug lord Eduardo Arellano Félix, one of the United States' most wanted international traffickers, Reuters reported via the New York Times .
Arellano Félix, known as "the Doctor," is a high-ranking member of a family drug cartel that has been involved in the violent battle for control of the drug trade - a struggle which has killed more than 3,700 people in Mexico this year alone, including 450 in Tijuana.
He is suspected of running the cartel with his sister Enedina, who is the only suspect family member still at large after several other brothers have been arrested or killed.
Federal police officials in Tijuana said they arrested Arellano Félix on Saturday after chasing his vehicle into a three-story house in a wealthy neighborhood. The chase resulted into a three-hour gun battle with more than 100 police officers and soldiers, leaving the home covered in bullet holes.
In 2003 the U.S. indicted Arellano Félix on charges of drug-smuggling and money-laundering. A reward of up to $5 million was offered for his capture.
Since late 2006 President Felipe Calderón has sent tens of thousands of troops and federal police officers across the country to combat increasing drug violence, but few arrests of major cartel leaders have been made.
The Arellano Félix family dominated the smuggling of cocaine and marijuana into California in the 1990s. Members were feared for their merciless elimination of enemies.
Eduardo’s youngest brother, Francisco Arellano Félix, was captured while deep-sea fishing off the coast of Mexico last November and sentenced to life in prison in the U. S. Mexican authorities agreed in June to extradite another brother, Benjamín, to the United States to face smuggling charges.