A gunman wearing a clown outfit, complete with a wig and a red nose, shot and killed a notorious Mexican drug lord in Los Cabos, Mexican authorities said Saturday.
Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, 63, the eldest brother of the Arellano Felix drug cartel family, was found dead in a rented beachfront home in the resort town, the attorney general’s office in Baja California Sur said. Arellano Felix was hit twice by the costumed shooter, with bullets to the chest and head. The motive for the attack, and the gunman’s clown disguise, are still under investigation.
Arellano Felix and several of his brothers controlled the Tijuana drug trade in the 1990s. The gang, also known as the Tijuana Cartel, was considered to be one of the most ruthless drug trafficking operations, smuggling large amounts of cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the US. The cartel’s power waned with the arrests or deaths of several of the brothers. Experts believe the gang is now run by other members of the Arellano Felix family.
Arellano Felix served a 10-year sentence for weapons possession after his 1993 arrest in connection with the murder of a Roman Catholic cardinal. Mexican officials concerned that he would return to drug trafficking upon his release asked US authorities to extradite him on charges stemming from a case in which he allegedly sold drugs to an undercover cop. He was extradited to the US in 2006, where he was sentenced to six years in a US prison. He was granted parole and deported back to Mexico in 2008.
Relatives of Arellano Felix confirmed his identity at the scene of his death.