Eduardo Arellano Felix, known as the “doctor,” faces organized crime and drug charges in Mexico.
One of Mexico’s famous Arellano Felix brothers was arrested again upon arrival in his homeland after being deported from the United States after serving most of a 15-year prison sentence.
Mexican prosecutors said Eduardo Arellano Felix was handed over to Mexican federal authorities on Monday at a border post in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas. He faces charges of organized crime and drug trafficking in Mexico.
He was one of the many brothers who founded the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel that moved hundreds of tons of cocaine and cannabis from Mexico and Colombia to the United States.
Known for his violent and brutal control of drug trafficking in the border town of Tijuana in the 1990s, the arrests or deaths of most of the seven Arellano Felix brothers have reduced the cartel to its own shadow. The family has slowly lost its grip along the California border with Mexico over the past decade, as the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels have emerged as the most powerful groups in the coveted corridor for transporting drugs to the United States. United States.
Arellano Felix was extradited from Mexico in August 2012 to face US charges. He was arrested in October 2008 in a shootout with Mexican authorities at his home in Tijuana.
Brother Benjamin Arellano Felix, described by American and Mexican authorities as the mastermind of the cartel, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in the United States. after being extradited from Mexico, where he was arrested in 2002. Ramon Arellano Felix, the main perpetrator of the cartel, was killed in a shootout with Mexican officers in 2002.
Another brother, Francisco Javier, was sentenced in 2007 to life in prison after the US Coast Guard captured him in a fishing boat in international waters off the Mexican coast of Baja California.
The issue of freed drug traffickers has been a sensitive one for Mexico following the release or near release of several old guard drug lords.
Almost eight years ago, drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero was released from a Mexican prison late at night when a judge wrongly ordered his release from a 40-year prison sentence for the murder and torture of US Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985 He has since returned to drug trafficking and started bloody battles in the border state of Sonora, northern Mexico.
Mexico’s current government is starting to gain a reputation for releasing more drug lords than it has captured, as part of the president’s stated policy of no longer detaining drug lords to avoid the violence.
This is a particularly thorny issue, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who in 2019 ordered the release of Ovidio Guzman, one of the sons of “El Chapo” Guzman, to avoid bloodshed.
In April, a lower court ordered the release of 1990s drug lord Hector “El Guero” Palma, a development that threatened to embarrass the international community if he had been released. But in July, a Mexican appeals court overturned the acquittal, arguing the lower court had misapplied the double jeopardy rule, which prohibits trying someone twice for the same offense.