Dave Rice 12:35 p.m., May 23
Despite news reports, Eduardo not the last remaining Arellano Félix brother
National and local news agencies have recently reported that Eduardo Arellano Félix is the last remaining Arellano Félix brother to face charges in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Agency claims that the extradition of Eduardo brings an end to a 20 year investigation and operation to shut down the Arellano Félix Organization (AFO). However, several brothers, sisters, and close family members are still operating the cartel.
Two brothers, Benjamin and Francisco Javier, are currently serving prison terms in the United States. Another brother, Ramon Eduardo, was killed in 2002 by police. Three brothers and multiple sisters who are possibly involved in the cartel still remain at large.
Francisco Rafael Arellano Félix is the oldest of the seven Arellano Félix brothers. He was arrested in 1980 in San Diego after delivering cocaine to a DEA agent. After posting bond he disappeared to Mexico. Francisco Rafael finally served real time after being nabbed in Tijuana in 1993. He served 15 years, eventually ending up in El Paso. He was released in 2008 and crossed back into Mexico. Very little has been heard from him since, but analysts believe he took a low key but active role in the cartels organization since his return to Mexico.
One of the sisters, Enedina Arellano Félix, is believed by some to be the outright leader of the Arellano Félix Organization. Mexican media reported last year that she was the first outright female cartel leader in Mexico. Enedina, the 51 year old who is known as La Pantera, began as a money launderer for her brothers.
Luis Fernando “El Ingeniero” Sánchez Arellano, who is the son of Enedina and the nephew of the Arellano Félix brothers, is believed to either be the top command of the AFO or running it side by side with his mother. He has been in the spotlight during his war with a former lieutenant and the Sinaloa cartel.
While the reigns of the AFO are believed to be in the hands of Enedina and her son El Ingeniero, two more Arellano Félix brothers who are not wanted on any criminal charges still remain. Carlos Alberto Arellano Félix is a licensed surgeon; however the 57 year old is believed to have been involved in money laundering for the organization by running several companies in central Mexico. Little is known about the seventh brother, Luis Fernando Arellano Félix. His ties to the organization are not known.
While the Arellano Félix Organization has taken huge hits by leaders falling and fighting with the Sinaloa cartel, the group still holds significance despite U.S. media reports. The large family based organization has a long ways to go before it is depleted from the criminal underworld and a non-factor in the drug trafficking business.