Ailing Mexican drug lord jailed for killing US agent granted house arrest
Published: Sep 14, 2022 09:39 PM
A veteran Mexican drug lord convicted of the murder of a US undercover agent has been granted house arrest due to his deteriorating health, authorities said on Tuesday.

Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo was considered Mexico's most powerful drug trafficker when he was arrested for the murder of US Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena in 1985.

Known as the "Boss of Bosses" (Jefe de jefes), the 76-year-old founder of the Guadalajara cartel has been in prison since 1989 and is blind in one eye and deaf in one ear.

"He needs treatment that cannot be given in prison because he has many diseases," Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters.

"He takes a lot of medicine. He's in a delicate situation."

Felix Gallardo has served 33 years of a 40-year prison sentence.

A judge granted Felix Gallardo house arrest with a tracking device on the grounds that he is in danger of dying before ­completing his sentence, an official in the western state of Jalisco, Jose Antonio Perez, told AFP.

The attorney general's office has challenged the decision, he said.

Felix Gallardo's organization is considered the forefather of modern Mexican drug cartels.

It was one of the first cartels to establish contacts with ­Colombian drug lords, working to transport cocaine up from the South American country to the US.

Lopez Obrador said in 2021 he was open to releasing Felix Gallardo on the basis of old age and poor health. 

"I do not want anyone to suffer. I do not want anyone to be in jail," Lopez Obrador said at the time, adding that prosecutors would review the case.