November 20, 2022

Who is Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, the “Boss of Bosses”?

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(CNN Spanish) — The Drug trafficker Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo He returned to the media spotlight this week, after the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, confirmed that a federal judge decided to grant him the benefit of house arrest.

“This was determined because a medical analysis was done and the man is truly in poor health, he has many diseases, he is ill,” Lopez Obrador said in his morning conference.

The Mexican president added that Félix Gallardo will remain a prisoner at home, wearing a bracelet.

“He has to be cared for in a house with his family. He is going to be imprisoned, he has to accept wearing a bracelet, even when he is sick, but that he be given the opportunity to be treated already in a fairly delicate health situation, ”he commented.

As soon as he has the bracelet to monitor him 24 hours a day, Félix Gallardo can be transferred from the Puente Grande Prison (in the state of Jalisco, in western Mexico) to his private home (in the same state), where he will be guarded by the National Guard, told CNN José Antonio Pérez Juárez, general director of Prevention and Social Reintegration of Jalisco, who assured that the capo has diminished health due to gastrointestinal problems, loss of sight and hearing.

Who is Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo?

He is one of the most recognized and wealthy Mexican drug lords of the 20th century, which is why he was known as the “Boss of Bosses.”

Here is some data from Félix Gallardo for more context:

  • It was one of the founders and leaders ofthe Guadalajara Cartel together with Rafael Caro Quintero and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, according to the US Department of State This organization was born in the 1970s.
  • At that time, Félix Gallardo worked with various drug traffickers, including Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who became part of the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s.
  • He was arrested in 1989. After his arrest and internal quarrels, the Guadalajara Cartel was divided into four factions, according to an analysis of the Baker Institute for Public Policy from Rice University: the Sinaloa Cartel, the Tijuana Cartel, the Juarez Cartel, and the Sonora Cartel.
  • The Sinaloa Cartel was controlled by “El Chapo” Guzmán, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada and the Beltrán Leyva family, whose members would form their own organization in 2007.
  • Meanwhile, the Tijuana Cartel was the successor to the Guadalajara Cartel, which Gallardo inherited to his nephews and members of the Arellano-Félix family (which is why the Tijuana Cartel was also named the Arellano-Félix Cartel, according to the Wilson Center).

Origins and power

Mexican journalist José Reveles, a specialist in drug trafficking issues, told CNN that Félix Gallardo had his origins in public security.

“He was a policeman. He took care of the security of the then governor of Sinaloa, Leopoldo Sánchez Celis (he was in power in the 1960s), when he was very young, “Reveles said in an interview.

In those years, Reveles added, Félix Gallardo was around 20 years old and was one of the police leaders who, with his knowledge of the terrain and his repressive tactics, gradually joined the Mexican drug trade.

The journalist explained that Félix Gallardo was so important in the 1970s that he was called the “Boss of Bosses.” This relevance was obtained largely because he was the first to interact with Colombians to send cocaine to the United States.

“He came to have quite a considerable fortune when he was apprehended in 1989. Some 50 houses, residences, various ranches, cash were seized from him. They calculated at that time about 500 million dollars, which were dollars that were worth more than now, ”he pointed out.

Detention

Félix Gallardo has been detained since 1989. Along with Fonseca Carrillo and Caro Quintero, he is blamed for the kidnapping, torture and death of DEA agent Enrique Camarena Salazar and Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala Avelar in 1985, Reveles said.

For his crimes against health and other crimes related to drug trafficking, Gallardo was sentenced in 2003; and, in addition, in 2017 he received another sentence, of 37 years, for the murder of Camarena, Reveles explained.

Now, the capo will spend the rest of his days in house arrest, after spending 33 years in prison.

One of the founders of current drug trafficking

Reveles added that the great capos of the time no longer have a tangible influence today and that, in reality, their names are stronger as part of the history of drug trafficking.

“They have already gone down in history, particularly him, Félix Gallardo. Fonseca has been under house arrest for five years and Rafael Caro Quintero has just been recaptured after being free for 13 years.

“The three great capos of the time are already annulled at this time, the Guadalajara Cartel no longer exists as such,” he said.

But, although it is already annulled, Gallardo can be credited with being one of the founders of current drug trafficking, added the Mexican journalist, because, until the arrival of the Guadalajara Cartel, Mexico was not listed as a “springboard” for drugs to other countries. , mainly USA

“The Guadalajara Cartel left the door open for cocaine to enter Mexico on its way to the United States and we are talking about hundreds of tons of a multi-million dollar business that continues to this day. (…). One cannot speak of criminal groups dedicated to the trafficking of illicit substances without mentioning Guadalajara. Guadalajara is historic. There is your role, ”he concluded.



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