Mexico's Proceso magazine is calling Enedina Arellano Felix the world's first female drug lord today, based on information from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
While we're not buying that lofty title — “Cocaine Cowboys” star Griselda Blanco was the godmother of blow's glory days, even if her gang wasn't called a “cartel” back then — we'll concede that Arellano Felix may be the first Mexicana drug lord, which is obviously no small feat, given the country's state of bloody, cartel-controlled chaos.
Also, she's way hotter.
Arellano Felix worked behind the scenes as the Tijuana Cartel's money manager until last weekend, when her brother, Benjamin Arellano Felix, was extradited to the U.S. (Congrats, DEA!) Now, because all her brothers are either serving prison sentences or hiding out, Enedina is believed to have taken the throne, according to Prensa Latina.
Proceso describes the new darling of drug trafficking as discrete, stern and firm in her decisions, having schooled her brothers in the business side of the trade for at least the last decade.
Enedina reportedly combined a Guadalajara education with inherited street smarts to keep what is now one of the world's most powerful cartels from going bankrupt back in 2000, after a series of raids.
In other words: She's a freaking badass. Even if she's now responsible for hundreds of deaths and costly U.S. counter-operations, we can't help but admire the woman for her she-cajones.
The DEA thought, with Benjamin behind bars in San Diego, the worst was over:
“Using violence, intimidation, kidnapping and murder, the Arellano Felix Organization, also known as the Tijuana Cartel, has been one of the world's most brutal drug trafficking networks,” said DEA Administrator Leonhart. “The extradition of Benjamin Arellano-Felix is one of many great victories against this criminal enterprise, which has seen five of the seven Arellano-Felix brothers either arrested or killed. Together with our Mexican partners, we will continue sustained attacks on cartels that threaten our way of life.”
But, Proceso reports, the crimes continue, and Enedina — code name “La Jefa”, “La Madrina” or “La Narcomami” — is the No. 1 suspect. (Though in the past, her son Fernando Sanchez Arellano, or “El Ingeniero,” has also been eyed as the cartel's top dog.)
We'll update with comment from the DEA when they get back to us. But if you'd like to contest the “first female drug lord” title yourself, feel free to weigh in.