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Things to know about Land lord

Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (born January 8, 1946), commonly referred to by his alias El Padrino ("The Godfather"), is a convicted Mexican drug lord who formed the Guadalajara Cartel in the 1970s and controlled almost all of the drug trafficking in Mexico and the corridors along the Mexico–United States border.

Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo



January 8, 1946(age 74)




Other names

El Padrino (The Godfather) El Jefe De Jefes (The Boss of Bosses)


Drug lord

Criminal status



Drug traffickingmurder

Criminal penalty

37-year sentence


Ernesto Fonseca CarrilloRafael Caro Quintero

Miguel Angel Félix Gallardo was arrested for the murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena, who was tortured to death at one of Félix Gallardo's ranches. Félix Gallardo was serving his 37-year sentence at the Altiplano maximum-security prison but was transferred to a medium-security facility in 2014 due to his declining health.

Early lifeEdit

Born on a ranch in Bellavista, on the outskirts of CuliacánSinaloa, Félix Gallardo graduated from high school and studied business in college. He took a job as a Mexican Federal Judicial Police agent.[1] He worked as a family bodyguard for the governor of Sinaloastate Leopoldo Sánchez Celis, whose political connections helped Félix Gallardo to build his drug trafficking organization. Félix Gallardo was also the godfather of Celis' son Rodolfo.[2][3][4]

Félix Gallardo started working for drug traffickers brokering corruption of state officials, and together with Rafael Caro Quintero and Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, who previously worked in the Avilés criminal organization, took control of the trafficking routes after Avilés was killed in a shootout with the police.[citation needed]

Connections to Colombian cartelsEdit

In the early 1980s, drug interdiction efforts increased throughout Florida, which was then the major shipping destination for illegal drug traffickers. As a result, the Colombian cartels began to utilize Mexico as their primary transhipment point.

Juan Matta-Ballesteros was Félix Gallardo's primary connection to the Colombian cartels. Matta-Ballesteros had originally introduced Félix Gallardo's predecessor, Alberto Sicilia-Falcon, to Santiago Ocampo of the Cali Cartel, the head of one of the largest U.S. cocaine smuggling rings. Rather than taking cash payments for their services, the smugglers in the Guadalajara cartel took a 50% cut of the cocaine they transported from Colombia. This was extremely profitable for them due to already established marijuana distribution networks ; some estimate that the trafficking network operated by Felix Gallardo, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, and Caro Quintero was pulling in $5 billion annually.[5][2][6][7]

Until the end of the 1980s, the Sinaloa coalition headed by Félix Gallardo (comprising what is today the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Juarez, and Pacifico Sur cartels) had nearly monopolized the illegal drug trade in Mexico.[8][2]

Murder of DEA agent Kiki CamarenaEdit

An undercover agent from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Kiki Camarena, managed to infiltrate deep into the drug trafficking organization and get close to Félix Gallardo. In 1984, acting on information from Camarena, 450 Mexican soldiers, backed by helicopters, destroyed a 1,000 hectare(≈2,500 acre) marijuana plantation known as "Rancho Búfalo" in Chihuahua, Mexico, known to be protected by Mexican DFS intelligence agents, as part of "Operation Godfather". Thousands of farmers worked the fields at Rancho Buffalo, and the annual production was later valued at US$8 billion. All of this took place with the knowledge of local police, politicians, and the military.[2][9]Camarena was also beginning to expose the connections among drug traffickers, Mexican law enforcement, and high-ranking government officials within the Partido Revolucionario Institucional(PRI), which Félix Gallardo considered to be a major threat to the Guadalajara cartel's operations throughout Mexico.[6]

In response, Félix Gallardo ordered the kidnapping of Camarena. On February 7, 1985, Jalisco police officers on the cartel's payroll kidnapped Camarena as he left the U.S. consulate. His helicopter pilot, Alfredo Zavala Avelar, was kidnapped shortly afterward.[2][9] They were brought to a residence located at 881 Lope de Vega in the colonia of Jardines del Bosque, in the western section of the city of Guadalajara, owned by Rafael Caro Quintero, where they were tortured and interrogated over a period of 30 hours.[10] On February 9, Camarena was killed when a hole was made in his head with a tire iron. His shrink-wrapped body was later found, along with Zavala Avelar's, in a shallow hole on a ranch in Michoacan state.[11]

Camarena's murder prompted one of the largest DEA homicide investigations ever undertaken, Operation Leyenda.[2][12] A special unit was dispatched to coordinate the investigation in Mexico, where corrupt officials were being implicated.

Investigators identified Félix Gallardo and his two close associates, Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo and Rafael Caro Quintero, as the primary suspects in the kidnapping. Under pressure from the US, Fonseca and Quintero were apprehended, but Félix Gallardo still enjoyed political protection.[2]


Félix Gallardo kept a low profile and, in 1987, moved with his family to Guadalajara. He was arrested in Mexico on April 8, 1989,[13] and was charged by the authorities in Mexico and the United States with the kidnapping and murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, racketeering, drug smuggling, and multiple violent crimes.[14]

According to US officials, Félix Gallardo also spent time at the Sinaloa governor's house as a guest, which governor Antonio Toledo Corro has denied. When asked about his association with Félix Gallardo, governor Toledo said he was "unaware of any outstanding arrest warrants" against Félix Gallardo.[13]

The arrest of Félix Gallardo was the catalyst for exposing the widespread corruption at political and law enforcement levels in Mexico. Within days of Félix Gallardo's arrest, and under pressure from the media, several police commanders were arrested, and as many as 90 officers deserted

Content created and supplied by: Mo.salah (via Opera News )

Camarena Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo Félix Gallardo Mexico Miguel Angel Félix Gallardo


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