Last week, the DEA released a report detailing the new generation of leadership in Tijuana's Arellano Félix cartel, naming Luis Fernando Sánchez Arellano as the group's new leader. Sánchez Arellano is the oldest son of Enedina Arellano Félix, the sister of the group's founders and herself a major figure in the organization. After the capture/killing (virtually all in the last few years) of Ramón, Benjamín, Francisco Javier, Eduardo, Francisco Rafael, and Carlos Arellano Félix, Luis Fernando Sanchéz Arellano is said to represent the rise of the next generation. Wikipedia says he's 42, while this article says he's 34; but whatever the case, he's young, as are the rest of the new generation.
Maybe I'm imagining it, but I wonder why the DEA seems to show a disproportionate amount of attention to the Arellano Félix group. It's an important organization in a vital city, but it's less responsible for the chaos in Mexico than the Zetas, the Sinaloa capos, and the Juárez gangs. And there's plenty of unanswered questions about all of the preceding. Part of it may be that the DEA can actually point to some successes with the Arellanos. Who knows?
Whatever the case, this report is an implicit contradiction of the victorious tone from the DEA when Francisco Javier was arrested in 2006: "We've taken the head off the snake," was the formulation of the Chief of Operations Michael Braun. Even if you accept that explanation (and many experts did not), if murders in Tijuana jumped by 500 from 2007 to 2008, what good did the decapitation do?