Gangsta Ladies: Story of an Indian and a Mexican Crime Matriarch

Meet Enedina Arellano Felix, and Santokben Jadeja, two Gang Ladies from Mexico and India.

2 min read
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Enedina Arellano Felix has become the first woman to lead the Mexican Tijuana drug cartel.

Enedina Arellano Felix, (sitting) second from left with the Felix clan (Photo: <a href="">YouTube</a>)
Enedina Arellano Felix, (sitting) second from left with the Felix clan (Photo: YouTube)

The 54-old woman is a trained accountant, more focussed on expanding her business than indulging in crazy violence which was the prerogative of her male predecessors –– men of the Arellano Felix clan, who are either dead or in custody.

The Tijuana Cartel, according to TIME magazine, traffics drugs like cocaine, heroin and crystal meth across Californian borders.

The movie Traffic is said to be based on the exploits of the Felix clan.

Now meet Santokben Jadeja, who was perhaps the only matriarch of an Indian crime family, and mostly operated in the Porbander area of Gujarat.

Both women took over their individual family businesses after male members of the family died. Santokben forayed into the crime world when her husband was killed by a rival gang in December 1986, and she organised some 100 people from the Mer community to form a gang.

Profiles of Santokben Jadeja state that she reportedly offered 1 lakh rupees to any of her gang members who would knock out each of her husband’s killers.

Santokben Jadeja. (Photo: YouTube)
Santokben Jadeja. (Photo: YouTube)

Both women remarkably share a keen business acumen.

By 2006, Enedina Arellano Felix had become the chief financial operator of the cartel, and even laundered illegal money of the family by setting up front businesses, including pharmacies. Santokben’s gang exerted control over illegal limestone, mining and transport businesses in the Porbandar area.

Santokben was portrayed by Shabana Azmi in the film Godmother. The seemingly harmless looking Santokben had nine cases, including several murders registered against her.

Interestingly, Santokben was the first and only woman from the Porbandar district to be elected to the state assembly in 1989. She remained an MLA from 1990 to 1995. She died in 2011. 

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