Cartel Arrest May Not Stop Violence - NBC 7 San Diego

Cartel Arrest May Not Stop Violence

Arellano-Felix arrest considered a success but the violence in Tijuana continues

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    A picture of the arrest of Eduardo Arellano-Felix.

    The arrest of a leader in the Arellano-Felix drug cartel is being considered a success for the Mexican Government, but some believe it will do little to change the violence seen in recent weeks in Tijuana.

    Former Federal Prosecutor John Kirby said Eduardo Arellano-Felix has not held a leadership position within the Arellano-Felix Cartel in recent years. "He has become a bit of a recluse and has not moved to take a leadership role in the organization," said Kirby.

    Mexico's defense department said Arellano-Felix, one of the members of the infamous drug cartel and a fugitive on the DEA's Most Wanted List, was captured Saturday around 5:30 p.m after a shootout in the middle-class Tijuana neighborhood.  Officials say he was at his nephew's home who is believed to be current leader of the cartel. His 11-year old daughter and four others were also detained after a gunfight.

    Kirby said Arellano-Felix's role changed after a Cardinal died in a shooting carried out by the cartel in 1993.

    "In the aftermath of that shooting, he began to withdraw from the organization and was less and less involved in any aspect of the organization," said Kirby.

    Kirby says the violence in Tijuana in recent months is a power struggle between two factions within the cartel. He believes this arrest will have little affect on the killings.

    The Arellano-Felix cartel is considered the most violent drug trafficking cartel in North America. A recent rash of violence in Tijuana has some experts speculating that the cartel may be slipping. Kirby says two factions within the cartel are still battling for control of the city, and one side may be getting help from the Guzman cartel of Sinaloa.

    "There's going to be a fight for control in Tijuana. There's going to be violence until one group controls Tijuana," Kirby said.