Since June 12, World Cup fever has swept the entire world, with millions upon millions of people tuning in to watch every match. The fervor has been especially apparent in North America this year as both Mexico and the United States have experienced their own successes. Unfortunately for Fernando Sánchez Arellano, Mexico’s World Cup success proved to be his personal demise.
Arellano, aka “El Ingeniero”, was the head of an infamous Tijuana drug cartel before the Mexican army invaded his home and arrested him during Mexico’s World Cup match against Croatia on Monday. (To make the story even more pathetic, Arellano was arrested before he had the opportunity to see Mexico win and advance to the round of 16.)
Arellano took control of the Arellano Felix cartel following a series of bad events which saw his uncle, Javier Arellano Felix, arrested in international waters by the United States Coast Guard while fishing in 2006 and another uncle captured by police in 2008.
— Nick Miroff (@NickMiroff) June 25, 2014
Since 2010, Arellano’s control over the Tijuana drug trade has weakened dramatically due to the rise of a new rival cartel, the Sinaloa cartel, which filled the hole left after the arrest of the Arellano’s rival cartel.
In May 2013, Arellano was listed as one of the six most influential drug traffickers in North America, despite the fact that US authorities were more concerned with the Sinaloa cartel. As one DEA official put it, Arellano was “almost like a ghost. He has no control, no power.”
Considering the efficiency and efficacy of raiding Arellano’s house during the World Cup, perhaps federal authorities should employ the tactic of attacking during vulnerable moments more often. Prior to Arellano’s arrest, one of the cartel’s former leaders was killed at his birthday party by a clown.
Image via YouTube