Ioan Grillo / Mexico City @ioangrillo July 7, 2015
The men of the Arellano Felix clan are dead or in jail so officials believe Enedina Arellano-Felix has taken over
The Arellano Felix brothers, a clan of infamous drug traffickers in the border city of Tijuana, have a history of meeting sticky ends during festivities. The eldest, Francisco Rafael, was killed at a party by an assassin dressed as a clown. His brother Ramon, known for his brutal torture techniques, was shot dead by police during a seaside carnival. A nephew, Luis Fernando Sanchez Arellano, was arrested while watching Mexico beat Croatia in the soccer World Cup. Now after seven male members have gone to their graves or prison cells, the clan may have done what is unthinkable for many in the macho cartel world – let a woman take the helm.
One of the sisters, Enedina Arellano Felix, could be running the remnants of the Tijuana Cartel that traffics cocaine, marijuana, heroin and crystal meth over the world’s busiest border crossing into California, American and Mexican agents say. The 54-old trained accountant is said to be less of a party animal or sadistic killer than her male relatives and more business focused. She is believed to have taken control after Sanchez Arellano, who is reported as being either her son or her nephew, was arrested last year. While there have been other female drug traffickers since the 1920’s, Enedina, known as La Jefa, or the boss, could be the first to head an entire cartel.
Rising to the top in an industry dominated by extremely violent chauvinist men is no east feat, says Javier Valdez, a Mexican journalist who interviewed female traffickers for his book Miss Narco. “This is a world where men behave like animals. Many women in it are used, abused and then killed by the same traffickers they worked with,” Valdez says. “The women who rise high in it are very rare. They have to be extremely intelligent, talented and brave.”
Furthermore, Enedina Arellano Felix has not only survived the fall of her brothers but a slew of takedowns of cartel bosses across Mexico. Under President Enrique Pena Nieto, police and soldiers have rounded up kingpins across the country including the “world’s most wanted man,” Joaquin, “Chapo” Guzman and Miguel Trevino, head of the paramilitary Zetas. La Jefa is one of the last women, or men, standing.
The Arellano Felix brothers moved from inland Mexico to Tijuana in the eighties, carving out their trafficking empire in blood and cocaine-fueled parties. Their antics inspired characters in the movie Traffic. But while the brothers were taking over nightclubs and burning corpses in barbecues, Enedina Arellano-Felix was reported to be studying accounting at a private university.
As her brothers fell in the 2000s, Enedina rose up in the organization, running its money laundering operations by creating front businesses such as pharmacies. From 2002, the U.S. treasury blacklisted her and her companies under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Act. Any American doing business with them can be fined up to a million dollars. By 2006, Mexico’s then attorney general Daniel Cabeza de Vaca said in a news conference she had become the chief financial operator for the cartel.
In 2008, the Arellano Felix brother Eduardo led the cartel into a brutal turf war that left piles of bodies around Tijuana. But after police arrested him after a shoot out, Sanchez Arellano took over with Enedina by his side, says Mike Vigil, the former head of international operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration. As number two and now number one in the cartel, the Jefa has helped reduce violence and got back to the traditional business of smuggling drugs to Americans, Vigil says.
“She is not into the wars of her brothers. She is into making alliances and making money,” says Vigil, who spent 13 years in Mexico, often undercover. “Her beauty may also have helped her make alliances with powerful traffickers such as Chapo Guzman.”
But while purportedly making her drug trafficking fortune, little is known of the Jefa. There are few photos of her besides some family portraits from the 1980s. She married and divorced at least twice, with one husband also alleged to be a money launderer, but her present marital status is unknown. Instead, myths of this Tijuana boss are spread in song and film. Among drug ballads that appear to be inspired by her legend is one called La Jefa de Tijuana. “A very powerful female, brave and decisive,” croons the singer to accordions and a polka beat. A low budget narco movie was also released with the same name, showing the fictional Jefa as a beautiful women who is not afraid of a gunfight.
Such a mix of fantasy and reality permeates the role of females in Mexican drug trafficking. Women, often with obvious plastic surgery, pose with guns in slinky clothes in many drug ballad music videos. One woman, Claudia Ochoa Felix, who looks like Kim Kardashian, posed with weapons on social media, sparking accusations in local newspapers that she was the head of a group of assassins. She denied it at a news conference.
These videos and social media create a distorted idea of what it is like for most women in the cartel world, say the journalist Valdez. It is not a glamorous life of mansions and jewels, but of brutality, rape, prison and death, he says. Drug traffickers will get girlfriends to have excessive plastic surgery to make them fit their fantasies but later, they may leave them to rot behind bars or murder them. “They want to control women’s bodies as a way to have power over them,” Valdez says. “But in the end, most of them see women as vulnerable and disposable.”
this story has already been posted over a week ago by NAJ.
I am not sure what the fuss is about. she was never officially designated as being the leader and has been designated as second tier on caf chart since 2002. (kingpin)
Resource Center: Recent OFAC Actions
OFAC has designated the following as "[SDNTK]"s pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act. Their assets must be blocked immediately. All of OFAC's SDN material has been revised accordingly, including delimited and fixed field files. OFAC's Narcotics brochure has also been updated to incorporate the new entries.
ARELLANO FELIX, Enedina (a.k.a. ARELLANO FELIX DE TOLEDO, Enedina), c/o FARMACIA VIDA SUPREMA, S.A. DE C.V., Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; DOB 12 Apr 1961 (individual) [SDNTK]
FARMACIA VIDA SUPREMA, S.A. de C.V. (a.k.a. FARMACIAS VIDA; a.k.a. FARMACIA VIDA), Blvd. Agua Caliente 1381, Colonia Revolucion, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Constitucion No. 1300,Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Negrete No. 1200, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Segunda No. 1702, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida 16 de Septiembre No. 1100, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Calle 4ta. 1339 y "G," Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Blvd. D. Ordaz No. 700-316, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Benito Juarez No. 16-2, Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Las Americas, Int. Casa Ley, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Constitucion y 10ma., Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Constitucion 823, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Calle Benito Juarez 1941, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Calle 4ta. Y Ni�os Heroes 1802, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Calle Benito Juarez 1890-A, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Blvd. Benito Juarez 20000, Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico; Blvd. Diaz Ordaz 915, La Mesa, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Blvd. Fundadores 8417, Fraccionamiento El Rubi, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Tecnologico 15300-308, Centro Comercial Otay Universidad Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Revolucion 651, Zona Centro, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Blvd. Sanchez Taboada 4002, Zona Rio, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Paseo Estrella del Mar 1075-B, Placita Coronado, Playas de Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Jose Lopez Portillo 131-B, Modulos Otay Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Avenida Braulio Maldonado No. 1409-C, Local 3, Fraccionamiento Soler, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Toribio Ortega No. 6072-1 Colonia Fco. Villa, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Blvd. Diaz Ordaz No. 1159-101, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Plaza del Norte, M. Matamoros No. 10402, Frac. M. Matamoros, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Calle Carrillo Puerto (3ra.) No. 1434-131, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Blvd. Ejido Matamoros No. 402-1 Lomas Granjas la Espa�ola Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; Calz. Cucapah 20665-1B Colonia Buenos Aires Norte, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; R.F.C.# FVS-870610-LX3 (Mexico) [SDNTK]
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
In reply to this post by Slappy
As long as this is about Mexican women drug traffickers, consider the story of La Nacha. She is a historical figure and must not be forgotten.
by Bob Chessey // May 27, 2014 // Arts & Culture
Part One: Ruben Salazar versus La Nacha
Booking photo of La Nacha from Juarez in 1942. (Photo illustration based on photo from the National Archives at College Park, Maryland / Courtesy of Bob Chessey)
In the summer of 1955, a burgeoning journalist from El Paso and a veteran drug dealer from Ciudad Juarez famously crossed paths in a dangerous game of cat and mouse.
At the time, Ruben Salazar was earning a reputation as a driven investigative reporter for the El Paso Herald Post. On the opposite side of the Rio Grande, Ignacia “La Nacha” Gonzalez was established as Juarez’s most notorious narcotics trafficker—with opiates, not marihuana, as the major drug in transit from Juarez to El Paso.
La Nacha had been dealing and trafficking opiates for just over 30 years. During World War II, her reputation was such that the mayor of Juarez in 1942, Antonio Bermudez, called for a citywide manhunt, resulting in her arrest.
Following her arrest, Harry Anslinger, the head of the U. S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the legacy agency of the DEA, had the U. S. government file for La Nacha’s extradition to the U. S. in order to place her on trial for trafficking. .............. click link below for rest of story;
This post was updated on .
I think I will remind grillo of nacha. or maybe he needs an education of narca history
I think I will ask lucio if he can post a story as a counter to arellano.
I had the long version of chessy. I read everything I could get my hands on, fascinating stuff. and funny also of his growing up in el paso and his dad. :)
here is DD's
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
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