Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was part of a family that ruled a powerful and brutal drug cartel trafficking drugs from Mexico to California, but this weekend he met his end thanks to a clown at a children’s party.
Police said Francisco, the oldest brother of the Arellano Felix drug cartel family, was killed by an assassin who dressed up like a clown and struck during a children’s party. The killing took place Friday in Cabo San Lucas, when a man wearing makeup and a wig pulled out a gun and executed Francisco.
“He was hit by two bullets, one in the thorax and one in the head,” said special investigations prosecutor Isai Arias.
The once-powerful Arellano Felix drug cartel has been reduced to shambles through a series of arrests and murders, but there is still bad blood with many of their former rivals.
The cartel, which was immortalized in the Steven Soderbergh film Traffic, was once considered one of the most powerful in Mexico and controlled the Tijuana corridor.
The cartel is now in the hands of Arellano Felix sister Enedina and her son Fernando, police believe.
Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix had a number of run-ins with law-enforcement officials in both the United States and Mexico, serving time in both countries. After serving having four years shaved off his six-year sentence in the United States, Francisco was released in 2008 and returned to Mexico.Because of his prison stints, Francisco missed out as the cartel rose to power.
“He was never really part of the leadership of the big organization, mostly because he was in jail (in Mexico). He was arrested before they became what they really became,” John Kirby, a former federal prosecutor in San Diego led the indictment against the Arellano Felix cartel, told CBS News.
After shooting Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, the clown gunman fled the scene. It was not known if he has been identified or arrested, and a motive for the killing was not immediately known. Police also said there may have been more than one clown involved in the hit.