"When I look at something, I don't see it for what it is, I see it for what it could be. When I look at something, I see how it ends."
Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, commonly referred to as El Padrino (The Godfather), is a former Mexican drug lord who founded the Guadalajara cartel in the 1970s. Until the end of the 1980s, Félix Gallardo controlled almost all of the smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border.
A former police officer, Félix Gallardo worked as a bodyguard for Sinaloan governor Leopoldo Sánchez Celis and gained first-hand knowledge about the corruption in the Mexican political system. After the army's Operation Condor took a severe toll on his boss Pedro Avilés' marijuana business, Félix suggested moving production to the metropolitan city of Guadalajara, and founded the Guadalajara cartel in 1980; after ousting Avilés with the support of Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo and the DFS.
Years later, Félix Gallardo began smuggling cocaine for the Colombian cartels, and using his newfound wealth, managed to corrupt Mexico's elite, including the country's defense minister. In 1985, he framed Fonseca Carrillo and his best friend Rafael Caro Quintero for the murder of American DEA agent Enrique Camarena Salazar, and had them arrested. Fearing his employees would do the same to him, he began a tyrannical rule over his cartel, started a war with the Gulf cartel and engaged in a passive conflict with the Cali cartel due to unpayed debts. These events would lead to his downfall, and the splintering of the Guadalajara cartel in 1989; setting the stage of the Mexican Drug war.
Félix Gallardo was arrested in 1989 after his government allies cut him loose, and is currently serving 37-year sentence, until 2014, in the Altiplano maximum security prison in the State of Mexico.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life
- 1.2 Smuggling career
- 1.2.1 Relocating to Guadalajara
- 1.2.2 Founding the Guadalajara cartel
- 1.2.3 Shift to cocaine
- 1.2.4 Rancho Búfalo raid
- 1.2.5 Death of Kiki Camerana and downfall
- 1.2.6 Return to power
- 1.2.7 Feud with Cali
- 1.2.8 Electing the president, in-fighting between Tijuana and Sinaloa
- 1.2.9 Collapse of the Guadalajara cartel and arrest
- 2 Legacy
- 3 Personality
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Appearances
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
Biography[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
Born in 1946 in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, Felix began working as a Sinaloa State Police Trooper after completing his education. As a police officer, he soon became the bodyguard of Leopoldo Sánchez Celis, the then Governor of Sinaloa. Working under Sánchez enabled him to make connections to the underworld, and soon began working for marijuana smuggler Pedro Avilés. Concurrently, he married Maria Elvira and fathered two children.
Smuggling career[edit | edit source]
Relocating to Guadalajara[edit | edit source]
In the early 80s, Félix's friend Rafael Caro Quintero creates a new type of marijuana crop, one which can be grown without seeds. With the military aggressively cracking down on marijuana farmers, Félix sees an opportunity in growing Caro Quintero's plant in a secluded spot in Guadalajara. After preventing Rafael's capture by the military, Félix Gallardo convinces Avilés to relocate to the more busy area of Guadalajara. His boss sends him to Guadalara to negotiate with the Naranjo brothers, the bosses of the city. Accompanied by Rafael and a reluctant Ernesto Fonseca Carrillo, Félix Gallardo arrives in Guadalajara, and proceeds to kill one of the brothers when his proposal is rejected and he is mocked. The trio are then arrested by the DFS, and Félix Gallardo convinces the DFS agents into taking him to Juan José Esparragoza Moreno, a DFS commander who also smuggled drugs.
Esparragoza is intrigued by Caro's seedless sinsemilla weed, and he kills the other Naranjo brother and allows Félix Gallardo to grow his plants in Guadalajara. Later on, Miguel, Rafael and Ernesto drive over to the large patch of land in the middle of the desert, where Miguel announces his intentions of building a drug empire. The land eventually evolves into the Rancho Búfalo, the prime farm of the cartel.
Founding the Guadalajara cartel[edit | edit source]
With support from the DFS, Félix Gallardo came up with a plan to change the 'plaza system' by unifying the drug lords of various regions into a common marijuana smuggling network under Avilés to maximize profits. He travels to Ciudad Juárez, and gets Ernesto's drug smuggler nephew Amado Carrillo Fuentes on board. Miguel, Ernesto and Amado meet the latter's mentor, Pablo Acosta. Acosta, who was involved in a bitter feud with Avilés agrees to the plan after Miguel convinces the him that his boss is looking for peace. The trio then travel to Tijuana and meet up with the Arellano Felix brothers, led by Benjamin and Ramon Arellano Felix, who said they'll only join after the receive consent from Cuban smuggler Alberto Sicilia Falcon. In order to meet Sicilia, Miguel took the help of Sinaloan socialite Isabella Bautista; who allows the trio to meet Sicilia in a house party. Sicilia, despite being skeptical, gives his approval.
Ahead of the big meeting between the smugglers, Miguel meets his boss Avilés and pleads him to co-operate with his rival Pablo Acosta. Despite agreeing to do so, Avilés locks horns with his rival during the meeting and walks away, causing the other smugglers to do so. Avilés forces Miguel back to Sinaloa in order to kill him, however on the way, they're pulled over by the police. DFS officers arrive at the scene along with Don Neto, and begin firing on Avilés' men after freeing Félix Gallardo. Félix Gallardo then uses the opportunity to shoot dead his mortally wounded boss. Pedro's driver is personally spared by Miguel after he promises his loyalty. With the control of Pedro's organisation under Félix, the plan is set into motion.
With the cartel established, Félix Gallardo grew incredibly rich and began to adopt to the wealthy lifestyle. However, the moments of triumph are cut short when internal feuds arose between the DFS and various smugglers. Salvador Osuna Nava, the Director-General of the DFS, accused Mexican smuggler Victor Molina of stealing funds from the DFS, and sends a hit squad at a party organized by him. Molina, along with several other smugglers are mercilessly murdered by the DFS agents in the morning. Among the dead include a cousin of the Arellano Felix brothers. Félix Gallardo mediates, and assists the brothers by allowing the brothers to bury alive the DFS agent who shot their cousin.
Shift to cocaine[edit | edit source]
Rafael and his girlfriend stage a false kidnapping to elope together. The girls father, the Secretary of Education and a member of the powerful PRI party sets up a manhunt for Rafael. Miguel instructs Rafael to surrender to the police, but then changes his mind, and has him lay low in the countryside with Don Neto. Osuna Nava contacts Miguel, and forces him to delivery a cache of American weapons to an armed insurgency group in Nicaragua. With no other options available, Miguel and Amado Carrillo Fuentes travel to Nicaragua, where they are tortured by the rebels, till they are rescued by a CIA officer accompanying them. Before departing to Mexico, Miguel notices stacks of cocaine stocked in a warehouse, waiting to be sold. The CIA officer informs him that the Caribbean corridor used by Colombian cartels to traffic cocaine into the United States of America is closed, leaving the cartels with no options to send cocaine.
Seeing a massive potential in using his drug routes to smuggle Colombian cocaine into the United States, Miguel uses Isabella Bautista to meet Juan Matta-Ballesteros, a Honduran cocaine trafficker who worked with Sicilia Falcon. Matta meets with Bautista and Miguel, and connects him to the Colombians; giving him two cartels to work with: one run by a group of shrewd businessmen and the other run by a temperamental and highly emotional individual. Deciding to work with the former, he and Bautista travel to Colombia and strike a deal with the Cali cartel. On the way back to their plane, they're kidnapped by the Medellín cartel. Miguel is taken to meet Pablo Escobar, the individual running the cartel. Escobar warns Félix of the dangers of the cocaine business, and orders the Mexican to traffic his cocaine along with Cali's.
With alliances secured with the Colombians, Félix comes home and finds out that the shift to cocaine isn't well received by his compatriots. Rafael blasts the shift to cocaine by stressing that weed has stabilized them, and will always do so. Don Neto, who approved of the cocaine business, is employed by Félix to convince Rafael. Osuna Nava also disagreed with the shift to cocaine.
Sicilia Falcon, feeling that Félix has betrayed him by entering the cocaine business, raids a warehouse of the Arellano Félix brothers and confiscates most of Rafael's marijuana before destroying the rest, triggering a war between Félix and Sicilia.
Meanwhile, fed up with Osuna Nava's unreliability and arrogance; Félix pays Rubén Zuno Arce a million dollars to introduce him to his uncle Andrés, the Secretary of Defense. Though he manages to meet him in a country club, the government official does not say anything of relevance and leaves with his mistress.
A few days later, Miguel receives a phone call from his American accountant Thomas Buehl, requesting his signature on certain financial documents. Confused, Félix tries to covertly drive into the United States of America, but just as he was about to clear security at the Mexican side, the security officer hands him the telephone. Mr.X, the government official informs him that he is walking into a trap set by the DEA, prompting to Félix to run away.
With political protection making him as powerful as ever, Félix decides to end the war with Sicilia. He meets Isabella and promises her 20% of all profits made in Tijuana in exchange for calming Sicilia. However just as she succeeds in her mission, Felix undercuts her and sends the DFS to arrest and kill Sicilia.
Félix laters calls a meeting in the board room of his hotel. There, he announces a few changes in management. Héctor Palma Salazar is appointed to oversee operations in Mazatlan, and Carrillo Fuentes gets control of Juarez. Tijuana remained in the hands of Arellano Félix brothers, leaving Isabella and Pablo Acosta empty handed. Félix's declaration that cocaine will be the future of the cartel causes Rafael to storm out angrily, and Félix does not increase the DFS's share of the profits, angering Osuna Nava. Acosta calls out on Félix, saying that the organization falls apart if one of them doesn't agree, to which Félix replies that he is the only leader, and anyone disagreeing with him can freely walk away.
Félix meets with Isabella later at that night, and she expresses her indignation, and threatens to reveal the nature of Sicilia Falcon's death. Félix manhandles her, and angrily says her to only take whatever he gives him. Later, he meets Osuna Nava at the hotel lobby. Nava taunts and berates Félix, and tells him that he can never be one of them, prompting an annoyed Félix to bludgeon him to death using an ashtray, as Esparagozza Moreno watched on.
Rancho Búfalo raid[edit | edit source]
In November 1984, the cartel's prized Rancho Búfalo is raided by the Mexican military, causing damages of upwards to $8 billion (2018 value) to the cartel.
Death of Kiki Camerana and downfall[edit | edit source]
The DFS eventually identify the source of the leak: DEA Special Agent Enrique 'Kiki' Camarena Salazar. Félix felt that going after just one man would jeopardize the entire organization, and personally meets his government contact and convinces him to not go after Kiki, but this turns out to be a temporary victory. El Azul and Tomas Morlet meet Rafael and manipulate him into greenlighting the operation.
Félix contemplates the necessity of Pablo Acosta, and sends Amado to spend time with him. Amado later calls his boss and tells him that Acosta is fine, but this phonecall is interrupted by Don Neto. Neto calls Félix from Rafael's mansion, and informs him that Rafael has ordered the abduction of Kiki Camerena. The abduction is carried out by a team of DFS agents led by Morlet, with assistance from the Guadalajara police. Félix hurries to Rafael's hideout, and belittles his partner for being naive and tells him that he is being used the 'fall guy', and the blame will be passed onto Rafael by the DFS in case the situation goes out of hand. However, after catching a glimpse of Kiki, Félix changes his mind and approves of the torture of Kiki and his Mexican pilot.
Félix later visits Kiki as his torturers took a break. Félix tells the American agent that he is finished, to which the American replies that Félix's empire is finished. Félix tells him to say whatever the interrogators want to hear, and leaves.
The DEA, now aware of Kiki's kidnapping, begin to persistently search for their missing agent, amassing a large squadron of agents. James Kuykendall, the Guadalajara DEA station chief, pressures the Mexican police force and his superiors into taking the issue seriously. However, certain corrupt Mexican politicians use the situation to send DEA agents and Mexican law enforcement officials to kill political dissidents.
The bodies of Kiki and his Mexican pilot are eventually discovered by the DEA outside a farmhouse in the countryside. The extent of his torture is revealed to the American government officials, and the Americans respond by closing the Mexican border and forced the Mexican government to take action. Several Mexican politicians and police officers are terminated, alarming the cartel.
Rafael flees to Costa Rica with his girlfriend. He soon is arrested by the police, who were tipped off by Félix Gallardo himself, who felt that Rafael was no longer important to the cartel and was a massive loose end. Miguel shares one last meeting with Don Neto, and they both plan to escape from Guadalajara. Félix takes the help of his godson Rodolfo Sanchez, who convinces his father to help his godfather, but for the price of 1 million dollars. Félix then goes to El Azul for help, and moves to a safehouse in the countryside, and receives a fake passport. El Azul informs Félix that the DFS will be disbanded soon, and Félix in return invites him to join the cartel. He also learns that Félix's partners are planning to regroup and reorganize under Benjamin and to distance themselves from Kiki's murder.
Return to power[edit | edit source]
Enraged, Félix decides to stay in Mexico. However, his safehouse is attacked by the Mexican police, led by Guillermo Calderoni. Félix, who just coughed up blood minutes earlier, puts up a fight, but is eventually overpowered and ends up staring down the barrel of Calderoni's shotgun.
In desperation, Félix attempts to bribe the police officer, but Calderoni shuts down all attempts. Then Félix reveals that he had ordered the interrogation of Camarena to be taped, and in case he is arrested or killed, the tapes would be released. The tapes included the names of several powerful Mexican politicial figures, including Calderoni's superiors. Félix agrees to pay Calderoni $1 million and surrender few of the tapes in return for letting him walk free. Calderoni is forced to let the Boss of Bosses walk free.
He then sells out Don Neto the police. As the former drug lord held a party, the police barge into his house and arrest him. A police officer also leaves tapes of Kiki's execution on the crime scene, just as Félix promised to Calderoni.
Félix Gallardo then proceeds to blackmail those political figures involved into protecting him. He soon receives protection from the Mexican military, and immediately travels to Acapulco to crash into the meeting of the drug smugglers. He makes a grand entrance as the military surrounds the resort and rounds up all the sicarios. He then forces Isabella to leave the meeting, and proclaims himself as the leader and announces the beginning of a new era.
Later, Miguel orders the beheading of his godson to avenge his betrayal by Governor Celis.
Feud with Cali[edit | edit source]
Increased American border checks after Camarena's murder made the return of cash into Mexico difficult. This caused a variety of problems for the cartel, as neither the Mexican plazas nor the Colombians received money. Miguel used his money to compensate the plazas, especially the Arellno-Félix brothers; but the Cali cartel's debt to the Guadalajara cartel grew to $200 million.
Félix orders Matta to persuade Cali cartel leader Hélmer Herrera to visit Félix Gallardo during his fortieth birthday celebrations on January 8, 1986 and renogotiate. The drug lords met at a chapel in Félix Gallardo's property, however the Colombian refused to change the price from $3000 per kilo of cocaine moved, stressing that the icnreased border checks were caused by Félix Gallardo's decisions, therefore absolving the Cali cartel of any responsibility.
Seeking to dethrone the Colombians, Félix travelled to Matamoros to meet with Juan Nepomuceno Guerra, the leader of the Gulf cartel, and in attempt to convince the Gulf cartel to enter the cocaine business as an ally of the Guadalajara cartel to gain leverage against the Cali cartel, whom Félix believed would be increasily reliant on the Mexicans on the Caribbean corridor closed.
Don Juan was initially hesistant due to Félix's infamous relations with his former partners, and a fear of losing his American friends who would refused to co-operate with him if he smuggled cocaine, but Félix Gallardo eventually succeeded in convincing the elderly drug lord.
Upon returning to Guadalajara, El Azul informed Félix about Dr. Delgado's disappearance and Commandante Verdin's death. Félix summonded Calderoni, and angrily berated the police commander for his inactivity, reminding him that that the commandante worked for him.
Félix is also forced to resolve disputes between the Tijuana and Sinaloa factions when a brawl broke out between members of both cartels during a party organized for Francisco Rafael Arellano Félix. He established a 10% tax on any product which the Sinaloans moved through Arellano-Félix territory. Félix also sent Amado to locate Acosta, who had been missing for quite some time, slowing down operations in Juarez.
Félix visited his political contact at his office in a national building, and threatened to pull out all his money from the country's banks, crashing the economy if he didn't fix the American problem. Meanwhile, Zuno was arrested by the American police in Texas. Félix visited Don Neto in prison, informed him of his deal with the Gulf cartel, and then asked him for advice in dealing with the Americans. Neto sarcastically tells him to surrender to the Americans, so that he could watch Rafa devour Félix in prison. At that point, Félix sees Rafa in another yard with a barricade in between. They both share eye contact, but Félix walked away.
One of Matta's planes carrying American weapons destined to Nicaragua crashed en route, triggering a scandal in the United States. Using this opportunity, Félix used Matta's influence to set up a meeting with the CIA. He and El Azul travelled to a CIA base in Nicaragua, and Félix was led inside a plane despite his objections, where he met agent Whitcroft, the man who suggested him to switch to cocaine years ago. Whitcroft instructed the pilot to fly the plane to the United States, where he would hand Félix Gallardo to the DEA, saying that he'd prefer good reputation for the CIA rather than drug money. However, Félix pleads the agent to open the briefcase he was carrying. Whitcroft was stunned when he found maps in the briefcase, instead of money. Félix proposed that his cartel would smuggle money and cash for the CIA to fund the Contras, in exchange for protection against the DEA and preventing Zuno from providing a testimony against him in front of the grand jury. The CIA accepted the offer, and they get Zuno to lie that he'd never met Félix Gallardo, and get the DEA to end Operation Leyenda after the arrest of Zuno.
Félix's political contact decided to run for President, and since he was Zuno's uncle; feared that he wouldn't get the PRI's nomination. In order to clear his name, Félix betrays Matta to the Mexican government. His political government orders the arrest of Matta, clearning his name away from his nephew's arrest.
Félix then went to Panama to negotiate with the Cali cartel. However, minutes before the meeting with Herrera, he is informed that Don Juan hasn't checked into the hotel. Herrera later informs Félix that he managed to strike a separate deal with Don Juan, moving one step ahead of Félix. Fearing that the move would put him out business, Félix daringly convinced Herrera that he would move 70 tons of cocaine in one day.
In order to faciliate such a massive operation, Félix sent Amado to Belize to buy 6 Boening 727s from a defunt Belizean airliner, and put him in-charge of transporation after Matta's arrest. Amado completed the construction of several airfields in Juarez, which became the new hub of the Guadalajara cartel.
Félix phoned Don Juan and angrily yelled at the elderly drug lord. Upon returning to Mexico, El Azul updated Félix that his contact didn't secure the PRI presidential nomination, but it was secured by a man close to Juan Guerra. He also informed of the incident where Ramón Arellano Félix massacred several men affiliated with the Sinaloa plaza for transporting drugs through tunnels running through the Tijuana plaza. On his way home, he is ambushed by Gulf cartel gunmen.
Electing the president, in-fighting between Tijuana and Sinaloa[edit | edit source]
He visited the PRI presidential nominee's brother, and presented a plan for a partnership; however the brother turned him down in favour of Juan Guerra. He then stopped at his second wife's house, but she prevented him from entering and told him to leave. On his way back, he saw one of Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas' rallies.
Azul informed him about the string of violence between the Tijuana and Sinaloa plazas, which included Chapo murdering several Tijuana lieutenants, and Cochiloco driving a steamroller over two of Ramón's friends in retaliation for Ramón slicing the hands of Cochiloco's favourite mariachi musician. Félix berates Palma for letting the violence and escalate, and forces him to send Cochiloco to Tijuana to apologize for the events and compensate for the losses in cash. Benjamín isn't pleased with it, and warned Félix that he would leave the cartel. In order to calm him, Félix authorizes the murder of Cochilco. As he pulled into an intersection in Tijuana, he is surrounded by two trucks full of armed soldiers carrying machine guns who unload their weapons unto him, and Cochiloco died after sustaining more than 50 bullets into his upper torso. Félix visited Palma and informed him of Cochiloco's death.
He gave his political contact an unsolicited visit, and requested an introduction with Cárdenas, who was a former member of the PRI. Andrés told him that Cárdenas was against drug traffickers, and would put Félix behind bars the moment he took office. He took him to a secret division located within party premises which housed the SNIPE system, which analyzed election results in real-time. The system predicted a massive defeat for the PRI party. Despite Andrés' reluctance to help his party since his Presidential aspirates were rejected; Miguel contacted the nominee's brother and informed him about the predictions. The contact told him to go to Hotel de Mexico.
In the hotel, he is greeted by Cecilia Rosario, one of the advisors of the nominee's campaign. He threatened to leak the predictions to the opposition unless she helped him. Félix planned to bribe a computer technician into creating another password, which upon entering would show massive success rates for the PRI candidate, thus preventing potential Cárdenas from voting, since "nobody votes for a loser". He agreed to help Rosario in exchange for protection following the PRI victory.
Palma became disheartened with Félix after Cochiloco's assassination. He spoke to Acosta, and suggested that they both leave the cartel and unify the Sinaloa and Juarez plazas, forming a powerful cartel to rival Félix and the Arellano-Félix brothers. The conversation was secretely recorded by Rafael Aguilar Guajardo, one of Acosta's lieutenants and was played to Félix; who decided to send Azul to eliminate Palma at him home.
Félix's driver, Rafael Enrique Clavel, who was involved in a romantic relationship with Palma's wife Guadalupe Leija Serrano, warned her about the hit on her husband. Palma sent his wife and children to a motel, and waited at his house to ambush Azul. Azul escaped after losing two of his men, and found out that Clavel had informed Palma's wife about the assault. Palma went into hiding, leaving Chapo in-charge of Sinaloa.
Acosta decided to leave the drug business to live with Mimi Webb Miller, his American mistress. In order to faciliate a smooth withdrawal, he gave an interview with the American media, revealing the workings of Félix's organization. Fearing that any further interviews would hamper the relations between the United States and Mexico, Félix's CIA friends get the FBI to conduct a joint operation with the Mexican Federal Police, and Acosta is killed in a cross-border raid conducted by Calderoni.
On election day, everything went smoothly untill former Congressman and opposition campaign adviser Francisco Ovando Hernández noticed the passwords. In order to prevent the voter suppression method from being discovered, Andrés shuts down power to the computer system, and explains the disrepancies in the resulties by stating that the system had crashed. This phrase would later be a popular euphemism for electoral fraud in Mexico.
The incident in the campaign center caused problems for the PRI, as people feared election rigging. In a last minute attempt to influence the election, Félix sent Chapo, Rafael Aguilar Guajardo and Ramón Arellano Félix to break into polling stations, and force the officers to add extra zeros into the number of votes received by the PRI, and destroy the polling boxes. These events allow the PRI to win, and Félix Gallardo attended the new President-elect's success party after reconclining with Maria.
Months later, on the insistence of Chapo and other plaza bosses, Félix decided to forgive Palma, and allowed him back to the business. However, in order to punish Clavel; he ordered him to kill Guadalupe and her two children, and to drop their bodies off a bridge. After the murders were complete, Félix cut all ties with Clavel.
Collapse of the Guadalajara cartel and arrest[edit | edit source]
Félix pulled the impossible by having Amado successfully transport 70 tons of cocaine in a day. The Cali cartel, after receiving the cocaine, stored it in a large warehouse in Sylmar, California. In order to intimidate the Cali cartel, Félix reveals the location of the warehouse to the American authorities, who raid the warehouse and recover $7 billion worth of cocaine, and over $13 million in cash, causing a loss of $12 billion to the Cali cartel. Félix summoned Herrera to Guadalajara, and warned him that he could finish his broke cartel unless they agree renegotiate terms, in which the Mexicans would receive 50% of the cocaine transported as payment. Herrera warned him against entering the cocaine distribution network, and asked for more time.
Félix Gallardo's erratic desire for power causes the Guadalajara cartel to fall apart. Chapo and the Sinaloans broke away for Félix's role in the killing of Palma's family. The Tijuana, Juarez and Gulf factions formed their own partnerships with the Colombian drug cartels. Félix is left alone after his trusted lieutenant, Amado, revealed that he waited long to stab him in the back. Azul joined the Sinloan plaza. Félix's alleged role in the Sylmar cocaine bust caused the Cali cartel to sever relations with Félix's organization.
With the Americans increasing pressure on the Mexican government, high ranking Mexican politicians decide to withdraw their support for Félix Gallardo in order to get a favourable view from the United States to sign a trade deal, which would profit businessmen and corporations.
In light of recent events, particularly for ordering the execution of Guadelupe Palma and her children, Maria ordered Félix to leave her house, and in the ensuing confrontation, stabbed him in the abdomen with a knife. Bleeding, and with his ulcer getting worse, Félix retired to one of his properties. On April 8, 1989; Commandante Calderoni led a team of federal police agents and raided the property, and found Félix sitting at the living room, smoking. The drug lord was apprehended without a single shot being fired. Félix tried to bribe Calderoni like he did 4 years ago, but the commander informed him that he was of no use to Mexico City.
While imprisoned, he is visited by DEA agent Walt Breslin. Félix maintained his arrogance, and callously mocked agent Camarena, and refused to reveal the extent of his previous political influence. When the DEA agent asked him about the future of Mexico, Félix Gallardo was not hesitant to talk about the potential war between the various new drug cartels, particularly between the Sinaloa and the Tijuana cartels. He also spoke about how the massive potential growth faced by the Gulf and Juarez cartel, and told him that Carrillo Fuentes would be biggest drug trafficker Mexico would ever see. He warned the DEA agent about the ensuing drug violence, likening it to setting caged wild animals free.
Legacy[edit | edit source]
Félix Gallardo left a lasting impact in Mexico. The splintering of his organization into multiple competing cartels gave birth to the deadly violence which has plagued Mexico since the late 1990s, and the cartels are still competing for power as of 2020.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Gallardo is a serious man who is more dedicated to his cartel than the party-loving Quintero. His focus on business puts him at odds with his family, especially his wife, who discovers his cheating. Despite his unfaithfulness, Gallardo seemed to feel remorseful and attempted to reunite with her.
Gallardo commits several ruthless acts throughout the show, including the shooting of Hernin Naranjo, the torture and murder of Kiki and the beheading of his godson. His ruthlessness and cold nature continue to the point where he goes from being a corrupt cop to a domineering, tyrannical drug lord. This unfortunately became the cause of his downfall, as plaza leaders felt that the cost of working with him was too high. He was also very resentful. He had no problems messing with Pacho Herrera, his only supplier, as he felt Pacho tried to topple his empire by forming an alliance with the Gulf cartel.
Despite his dark side, Gallardo did love his family and, for a moment, desired to leave behind his cartel to be with them. Initially, he cared for his business partners, Rafa and Neto, and insisted they go into hiding for their own well-being. Hpwever, at the later stages of his empire, he regarded his partners as his employees, and did not hesitate to betray him if the need arised. This tyranny was closely acompanied by brutality, he showed no remorse in killing Cochiloco, who he had known for 20 years; and did not bat an eye when he ordered Clavel to murder Guadalupe Palma and her three children for her husband expressing interest in splitting from the cartel. This can be further be exemplified when he showed no reaction when he came face-to-face with his former best friend and former partner Rafael, who was imprisoned in prison. However, even during his later years, he cared about talented and skilled individuals like Carrillo Fuentes. This however proved to be a mistake as he was completely thrown off-guard by Carrillo Fuentes' murder. Despite this, he believed Carrillo Fuentes had to potential to be Mexico's biggest drug trafficker.
Félix's greatest asset is the ability convince anyone to do anything, allowing him to slither away from problems. This explained how he got all the plazas to unite, got the DFS, and later the Mexican government and the CIA to protect him, and force the incorruptible Calderoni to let him free despite holding him at gunpoint.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Félix Gallardo had married three times. His first wife died of leukemia in 1968. His second, and longest wife was Maria Elvira, daughter of a opium trafficker. They had two children, Miguel Jr. and Abril. He abandoned her in the early 1980s, after he grew immensely powerful, but attempted to reconcile several times. Sometime before his fortieth birthday in 1986, he married Daniela. She had a daughter, but is unknown if she had it with Félix.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|"The Plaza System"
|"Rafa, Rafa, Rafa!"
|"The Colombian Connection"|
|"La Última Frontera"
|"Jefe de Jefes"
|"Just Say No"
|"811 Lope de Vega"
|"Salva El Tigre"
|"Alea Iacta Est"
|"Ruben Zuno Arce"
|"The Big Dig"
|"Truth and Reconciliation"
|"Se Cayó El Sistema"
|"Growth, Prosperity, and Liberation"
See also[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo on Wikipedia.