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Ramon Arellano Félix (31 August 1964 – 10 February 2002) was one of the leaders of the Mexican Tijuana Cartel. He was the brother of Benjamin Arellano Felix, and his murder of Sinaloa Cartel member Rayo Lopez led to war breaking out between the two cartels. Arellano Félix was killed by the Sinaloa Cartel in Mazatlan in 2002, and his death was passed off as a "police operation" by the government.

Biography

Ramon in 1983

Ramon Arellano Félix was born in Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico on 31 August 1964, the brother of EnedinaFrancisco Rafael, Carlos, Benjamin, Eduardo, and Francisco Javier. He became one of the co-leaders of the Tijuana Cartel alongside his brothers, and he became known as a ruthless gangster, massacring twelve family members outside of Ensenada, Baja California in 1997. Arellano Félix was a friend of Joaquin Guzman Loera (El Chapo), and the two smuggled cocaine and marijuana into the United States; however, he angered Guzman when he refused to do business with him due to Guzman's status as an associate of the Guadalajara Cartel and his lack of boss status. Guzman smuggled cocaine under the brothers' noses, and he also sent a drunken Rayo Lopez to represent him at a party in Tijuana, leading to Arellano Félix shooting Lopez in the head. This started a war between the Tijuana Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel, and Arellano Félix narrowly survived assassination in the Avenida Revolucion ambush. The Arellano Félix brothers fought a brutal war against the Sinaloa Cartel, killing the family of El Guero, El Chapo's lieutenant. While El Chapo was locked away in prison during the late 1990s, the Arellano Félix brothers engaged in a spree of killings targeting civil servants such as Ernesto Ibarra. Ramon shaved his head and wore a bulletproof vest, becoming known as a bloodthirsty hitman.

Death

Ramon's body on the sidewalk

El Chapo escaped from prison in 2001, and he teamed up with Ismael Zambada Garcia with the goal of killing the Arellano Félix brothers. In 2002, Arellano Félix was lured to the coastal city of Mazatlan on the Pacific Ocean, where his henchman Carlos Tirado Lizarraga reported that Zambada Garcia was attending the carnival with two of his men. Ramon he headed to Mazatlan with the goal of killing his rival, bringing with him his hitman Alambra and Tirado.

On 10 February 2002, Arellano Félix and Alambra waded through a parade crowd with pistols, hoping to search the crowd and find Zambada Garcia. Tirado, who was ordered to stay behind and cover their escape route, distracted Ramon by shouting his name. As Ramon Arellano Félix and Alambra turned around, two hitmen opened fire on the two men with handguns, shooting them several times. They both died on the sidewalk, and the panicked parade crowd dispersed. Mazatlan deputy Conrado Higuera Sol later alerted President Vicente Fox that Arellano Félix had died, and President Fox ordered Interior Minister Santiago Creel to investigate the situation. He also informed him that, if Arellano Félix's death was confirmed, that it was to be passed off as a "police operation". The story was that Arellano Félix shot a Mazatlan police officer during a traffic stop, only to be shot and killed by the wounded officer.

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