Throughout most of the 1980s and 1990s, the Tijuana Cartel was headed by her six brothers, while Enedina advised and helped them in money laundering and financial administration. But after the fall of a financial mastermind in the cartel in the year 2000, Enedina took up the position. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Enedina is the world's first female drug lord; she first started working behind the scenes as a money launderer for the Tijuana Cartel but then led the cartel after the arrest of her brother Eduardo Arellano Félix in 2008.
Since most of her brothers are now either arrested or killed, Enedina has managed the financial aspect of the organization, overseen alliances, and taken the lead of The Tijuana Cartel alongside Luis Fernando. Her historical contacts with drug suppliers in Colombia managed to keep the organization afloat.
Enedina Arellano Félix was born in Mazatlán, Sinaloa on April 12, 1961 in a family of drug traffickers. In 1977, when she was seventeen, Enedina harbored her dream of becoming the queen of a carnival in Mazatlán, but she abandoned it after her two brothers, Ramon Arellano Felix and Benjamín Arellano Félix, were wanted by the United States and the Mexican government. During that time, her older brothers were working for Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, who would eventually give them the drug corridor in Tijuana, Baja California.
Enedina enrolled at a private university in Guadalajara, Jalisco, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting. By the mid 1980s, Enedina was working with the family business, but was never considered by the authorities as a visible head in The Tijuana Cartel. Nonetheless, after the fall of the former cartel's financial brain, Jesús Labra Avilés, alias El Chuy, in the year 2000, Enedina began to directly manage the money laundering activities of the criminal organization.
Since the apprehension of Boss Benjamín Arellano Félix in 2002, the Mexican government was able to severely undermine The Tijuana Cartel but failed to destroy it. Enedina and her son Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano have been leaders in the organization since 2003. After the arrest of Eduardo Arellano Félix in 2008, Enedina finally became the leader of the Tijuana clan along with her son.
Enedina has helped contribute a more "business-like vision" instead of the old and violent practices of her brothers, who previously led The Tijuana Cartel before they were arrested or killed. She forged alliances with other criminal organizations, as opposed to her brothers, who often often resorted to violence. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Mexican media identify Enedina as the first and only woman to lead a criminal organization in the world and as the first female drug lord in Mexico, activities historically reserved for men.
Enedina has several aliases, including: La Jefa, La Madrina, and La Narcomami. The authorities in the United States and Mexico consider Enedina the "financial brains" of the Tijuana Cartel.
In June 2000, the United States Department of the Treasury sanctioned Enedina under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Act Designation.
Family members in the Tijuana CartelEdit
Enedina is the sister of former cartel leaders Benjamín, Carlos, Eduardo, Francisco Javier, Francisco Rafael and Ramón. Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano, the current leader of The Tijuana Cartel and the son of Enedina, heads the organization along with Enedina. Enedina's husband, Luis Raúl Toledo Carrejo, was accused by the United States Department of Treasury in the year 2005 for having links with The Tijuana Cartel. Alicia Arellano Félix, the sister of Enedina, is currently a lieutenant in the Tijuana Cartel.