Ramón Arellano Félix

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Ramon Arellano Félix
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive
ChargesConspiracy to import cocaine and marijuana
AliasComandante ‘Mon
BornRamon Eduardo Arellano Félix
(1964-08-31)August 31, 1964
Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico
DiedFebruary 10, 2002(2002-02-10) (aged 37)
Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Cause of deathGunshot wounds
AddedSeptember 18, 1997
Deceased prior to capture

Ramon Eduardo Arellano Félix (August 31, 1964 – February 10, 2002) was a Mexican drug lord who alongside his brothers founded and led the Tijuana Cartel (a.k.a. the Arellano-Félix Organization). He was the leader of the enforcement wing of the organization until his assassination on February 10, 2002.[1]


Standing 188 cm (6 foot 2 inch) and 100 kg (220 lb), Ramon Arellano Félix was allegedly one of the most ruthless members of the cartel and was a suspect in various murders. Arellano Félix had been linked by Mexican police to the 1998 massacre of twelve members of a family outside of Ensenada, Baja California. The family was related to an alleged associate of the Arellano Félix Cartel. [2]

On September 18, 1997, Ramon Arellano Félix became the 451st fugitive to be placed on the Ten Most Wanted list. Leading to his Most Wanted Fugitive listing in the United States, he had been charged in a sealed indictment in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, with Conspiracy to Import Cocaine and Marijuana in drug trafficking.[citation needed]

Kingpin Act sanction[edit]

On 1 June 2000, the United States Department of the Treasury sanctioned Ramón under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (sometimes referred to simply as the "Kingpin Act"), for his involvement in drug trafficking, along with eleven other international criminals.[3] The act prohibited U.S. citizens and companies from doing any kind of business activity with him, and virtually froze all his assets in the U.S.[4]

Death and aftermath[edit]

On February 10, 2002, Arellano Félix was killed in a gunfight in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, where he was stopped due to a traffic infraction by a Mexican police officer who did not know at the time who Arellano Félix really was. Arellano Félix drew his gun and shot the police officer, who shot him back while falling to the ground.[citation needed]

According to Jesús Zambada García (alias "El Rey"), Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán ordered his execution.[5] Arellano's older brother, Benjamín Arellano Félix, the cartel's mastermind, was arrested weeks later on March 9.

On August 14, 2006, the youngest of the Arellano brothers, Francisco Javier Arellano Félix, was arrested with some associates at sea, by the United States Coast Guard. They were in international waters 25 km (16 mi) off the coast of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur. Francisco was extradited to the U.S. on September 16, 2006.[citation needed]

The only brother of the Arellano Félix cartel then at large, Eduardo Arellano Félix, was captured by the Mexican Army on October 26, 2008. At the time, the US State Department had been offering a reward of up to US$5 million for information leading to his arrest. According to a Mexican official, at the time of Eduardo Arellano Félix's capture, control of the cartel passed to Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano, a son of Eduardo Arellano Félix's sister Alicia.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

In the 2017 Netflix and Univision series, El Chapo, Rolf Petersen plays Ramón Avendaño (a fictionalized portrayal of Ramón Arellano Félix).

Arellano Félix is portrayed by Manuel Masalva in the 2018 crime drama, Narcos: Mexico.

A 2003 Mexican film, "El fin de los Arellano" ("The End of the Arellanos"), featured characters supposedly based on the Arellano brothers; however, its plot bore practically no resemblance to the actual events.

The Arellano brothers were allegedly an inspiration for the two secondary characters of "the Obregón brothers", featured in the 2000 US film "Traffic".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Steller, Tim (15 April 1998). "Mexican drug runners may have used C-130 from Arizona". The Arizona Daily Star. Archived at California State University Northridge. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
  2. ^ "18 Slain Execution-Style at Farm Near Ensenada". LA Times. 1998. p. 1. Archived from the original on 18 September 1998. Retrieved 18 September 1998. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ "DESIGNATIONS PURSUANT TO THE FOREIGN NARCOTICS KINGPIN DESIGNATION ACT" (PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. 15 May 2014. p. 1. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  4. ^ "An overview of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act" (PDF). United States Department of the Treasury. 2009. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  5. ^ Alvarado, Isaias (9 February 2019). "Asesino, torturador y depredador de niñas: el perfil criminal de 'El Chapo' revelado en su juicio". Univision (in Spanish).

External links[edit]