Tijuana is believed to have become a battleground between two drug factions that are the remnants of the original Arellano Felix cartel. To explain it simply, on one side you’ve got Francisco Sanchez Arellano (aka “El Ingeniero”) and on the other side is reportedly Teodoro Garcia Simentel (aka “El Teo”), a renegade cartel member working with other powerful Arellano rivals.
While the winner of this recently-escalated battle remains unclear, Details magazine – via its blog, The Provocateur – has apparently decided who is top drug thug for their so-called “Power List” of the 40 Most Influential Men in the World. According to them, Francisco Sanchez Arellano and Heriberto Lazcano (another suspected drug lord with a complicated history) obtained the #10 slot – ahead of Robert Downey Jr. (19), New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (25) and Clay Aiken (39).
The Top-40 appear to be chosen in some cases for their provocative nature, and Provocateur/Details acknowledges the #10 team may not be around for next year’s list: “But with an estimated 90 percent of U.S. cocaine coming in across the Mexican border and up to $25 billion being sent back each year, who can blame them for wanting to be drug kings for a day?”
I’m not sure how these two clinched this title with so much competition. Aside from the still-at-large “El Teo,” also on the loose are suspected Arellano rivals Joaquin Guzman, “El Chapo” and Ismael Zambada, “El Mayo.” No word as to how they feel about not making the list.
Screenshot from Drug Enforcement Administration website (click here for larger version). Poster is slightly dated and doesn’t include either Sanchez Arellano or Lazcano.