HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Gang Hit Blamed In Drug Lord's Death
Pubdate: Sun, 07 Apr 2002
Source: Register-Guard, The (OR)
Copyright: 2002 The Register-Guard
Author: The Washington Post


MEXICO CITY - Mexico's most ruthless drug lord probably was killed by a 
rival gang aided by corrupt police officers, not in a shoot-out with police 
as has been widely reported, according to a senior U.S. law enforcement 

The official said Ramon Arellano Felix, the enforcer of the Tijuana drug 
cartel run by his family, is believed to have been executed by gunmen on 
Feb. 10 in Mazatlan on Mexico's Pacific coast.

The death of Arellano Felix and the arrest of his brother, Benjamin 
Arellano Felix, on March 9 have been portrayed by President Vicente Fox and 
others as major victories for Mexican law enforcement.

The U.S. official stressed that the capture of Benjamin Arellano Felix, who 
was thought of as the family cartel's leader, was indeed a significant 
accomplishment for Mexican authorities. But the official said the killing 
of Ramon Arellano Felix was actually a drug-war assassination in which 
Mexican police officers were accomplices.

For years, the Arellano Felixes and other leading Mexican drug lords have 
been able to escape capture by paying off police. A second U.S. law 
enforcement official agreed that the death of Ramon Arellano Felix was 
"definitely not clever police work."

The official said Arellano Felix was killed by gunmen working for rival 
drug lord Ismael Zambada Garcia, who has now become a top target of U.S. 
law enforcement. The official said Zambada's gang and the Arellano 
Felixeshave been fighting over the lucrative drug corridor into the 
California. He said Ramon Arellano Felix was on his way to a Mazatlan hotel 
to try to kill Zambada; instead, "he was set up."
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