Man mistaken for drug cartel boss to sue government

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 24, 2011 05:40 hrs

Ensenada (Mexico), Jan 24 (IANS/EFE) A man mistakenly identified as the leader of the Tijuana drug cartel by Mexican prosecutors said he might sue the government for damaging his reputation.

Raul Inda Gonzalez's image was posted on the web site of the Attorney General's Office, which identified him as Fernando Sanchez Arellano, the leader of the Tijuana drug cartel and one of Mexico's most-wanted men.

Inda Gonzalez's image was taken from a video posted on YouTube and made from photos on his Facebook page.

The AG's office identified Inda Gonzalez as Sanchez Arellano, whose nickname, 'the Engineer', matches the victim's profession.

The images on the government web site have been widely distributed in Mexico by the press.

'My son's life is in the hands of the authorities,' Inda Gonzalez's mother, Carmen Gonzalez, said in a press conference held by the family and their attorney Saturday.

Inda Gonzalez returned Friday to Ensenada, where he makes his home, after fleeing to San Diego, California, located near the border city of Tijuana, for security reasons.

The 28-year-old man, who is married and the father of a newborn, said he feared for his life.

'I had to hide because I was afraid they would capture me, and I still have that fear,' Inda Gonzalez said, adding that he did not know who referenced his Facebook photos.

The whole incident may have started as a prank, Inda Gonzalez said.

'They have supported me at work and my friends know me, but there are some people who have sent me e-mails' asking what I am up to, Inda Gonzalez said.

A friend told him about 'bad comments' that had been posted on a Tijuana web site and the existence of the YouTube video came to light, Inda Gonzalez said, adding that he asked the sites to take down the material.

A lawsuit may be filed against federal officials because the release of Inda Gonzalez's image in connection with efforts to capture a criminal scuttled a land deal, the man's attorney said.

The real Fernando Sanchez Arellano is the leader of the Tijuana cartel, one of Mexico's oldest criminal organizations, which was founded by his uncles, the Arellano Felix brothers.

Fernando Sanchez Arellano's mother, Enedina Arellano Felix, is considered the cartel's financial brains.

The Tijuana cartel has used the web in the past to make fun of rivals, such as after the January 2010 arrest of Teodoro 'El Teo' Garcia Simental, a long-time member of the organisation who had struck out on his own and battled his former bosses for control of turf in the border city.

Numerous 'narcocorridos', ballads that recount the exploits and travails of drug kingpins, have been posted on YouTube.

The 'Blog del narco', whose authors are not known, posts reports about Mexico's drug cartels and has become one of the country's most-visited web sites.

The web site has even posted videos of torture sessions and murders.

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