8/24/2017 Los Angeles Times
He was known as “El Padrino” — the Godfather — and, as co-founder of the once-dominant Guadalajara drug cartel, Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo reigned over Mexico’s multibillion-dollar narco-commerce with all the ruthlessness and aplomb of the fictional Don Corleone.
The former street cop and bodyguard turned-drug kingpin counted police commanders and politicians among his protectors and supplicants.
ut eventually, Gallardo went too far. The international outrage following the 1985 murder in Mexico of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, eventually led to the fall of Gallardo and his close associates and the splintering of their nationwide criminal network.
The fallout of Camarena’s murder — and the unraveling of Gallardo’s cartel — continues to be felt in Mexico to this day, influencing law enforcement, politics and how modern cartels operate. Even though Gallardo was arrested decades ago, the case made the news again this week when a Mexican federal court sentenced Gallardo to 37 years in prison for the murder of Camarena and a Mexican pilot, Alfredo Zavala.
As part of Wednesday’s court decision, Gallardo also was ordered to make the equivalent of $1.18 million in reparation payments, presumably to the families of the victims.