MEXICO CITY — Mexico is offering a $1-million reward for information leading to the capture of three brothers who head a dangerous drug cartel and allegedly ordered the recent shooting of a well-known Mexican journalist.
The attorney general's office said in a statement that it would pay 8 million pesos--a little more than $1 million--to anyone who helped police capture any of the Arellano Felix brothers: Benjamin, Ramon and Francisco Javier.
The Arellano Felix family leads the so-called Tijuana cartel, known for its violence in drug turf wars. Cartel hit men Nov. 27 attacked Jesus Blancornelas, editor of a news weekly that regularly covers the drug trade.
Hit by as many as four bullets, Blancornelas was still recovering in a hospital Sunday, nearly two weeks after the attack that claimed the lives of his bodyguard and one of the assailants, a gunman for the drug cartel.
Ramon Arellano is on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list--a distinction that earned him a $2-million bounty on his head. Experts say famous drug kingpins such as the late Pablo Escobar in Colombia were worth as much as $6 million in reward money.
"The Arellano Felix drug cartel, known as the 'Tijuana Cartel,' is considered to be one of the most vicious, ruthless criminal organizations involved in smuggling drugs into the United States," FBI director Louis Freeh said at a news conference earlier this year.
The drug gang has long been a headache to officials on both sides of the border. In 1993, its gunmen were involved in the fatal shooting of Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo, who officials say was killed in a case of mistaken identity. Mexican Attorney General Jorge Madrazo has said that U.S. agents have just as much chance of capturing the cartel leaders as Mexican ones because they often cross the border onto U.S. soil.