Skip to main content









Donation Heart Ribbon

Death Penalty Case Against Arellano-Felix Could Trouble Mexico-U.S. Relations


A veteran San Diego prosecutor says seeking the death penalty for suspected drug cartel leader Francisco Javier Arellano-Felix could make Mexico less willing to extradite other criminals to the United States. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Prosecutors are preparing a new indictment against Javier Arellano Felix that would allow them to seek the death penalty. The indictment will also include new charges against Arellano-Felix. He’s accused of drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering. He’s also been linked to multiple murders in the United States and Mexico.

Former U.S. Attorney John Kirby says seeking the death penalty in this case may make it more difficult for Mexico to turn over other criminals because Mexico opposes the death penalty.

Kirby: I would think though that there’s got to be some communication back and forth because we do want their cooperation. We are going to be seeking to extradite other individuals.

There’s been talk for years of extraditing Javier Arellano-Felix’s older brother Benjamin. He was arrested in Mexico in 2002 and was considered the cartel leader. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.