A former leader of Mexico ' s once - powerful Tijuana Cartel has been killed in a sting operation by gunmen in northwestern part of the country.
According to authorities, the gunmen shot and killed Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix in a hotel in Cabo San Lucas on the Baja California peninsula on Friday night.
“He was hit by two bullets, one in the chest and one in the head, ” said Isai Arias, a Baja California state government official, on Saturday.
Reports say that the assailants, disguised as clowns, fled the scene and police launched an investigation into the deadly attack. During the previous years, the Tijuana drug cartel was gradually weakened after its key leaders were killed or arrested. According to Raul Benitez, a drug trade expert at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, “The Tijuana Cartel has been completely dismantled, with all of its leaders in prison either in the United States or in Mexico.” More than 70,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico since former President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against Mexico’s drug cartels in December 2006. On July 25, Current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto admitted that organized criminal gangs have gained the upper hand in some parts of the country, including the states of Michoacan, Mexico and Guerrero, despite increased military troops in those areas.