In a strange series of events, Alex Hodoyan was eventually flown by Mexican authorities to the United States and handed over to the DEA. The DEA and San Diego Assistant US Attorney Gonzalo Curiel attempted to convince Alex to become a witness for their cases against the Arellano-Felix cartel. They offered the witness protection program to Alex. Alex, who was free but being kept in a San Diego hotel, believed that he would be forced to testify against his own brother and fled back to Tijuana. He was kidnapped while driving with his mother in Tijuana several days later and has never been seen since. He is presumed dead.
Alfredo Hodoyan was extradited to Mexico and is now awaiting trial in Almaloya, Mexico's high security prison outside of Mexico City. The family still hopes that Alex will someday be found alive. In another bizarre twist to the story, Alex's captor, General Gutierrez Rebollo, was discovered to be working for a rival cartel the entire time that he was attacking the Arellano-Felix cartel. US authorities were shocked by this revelation. The Hodoyan family still believes that Gutierrez Rebollo's faction was responsible for the kidnapping of Alex. Assistant United States Attorney Gonzalo Curiel believes that the Arellano-Felix brothers had Alex killed because he had talked to the authorities and was considered a liability to the cartel. But, as the father, Alejandro Hodoyan says in his interview,"It's hard to know who the bad guys are."
Alex and Alfredo are part of what has become known as "the Juniors" The
Juniors are a group of Tijuana children from middle and upper class families
who became friends with one of the Arellano-Felix brothers, Ramon, during the
1980s when they were all in their teens and early 20s. They partied
together in Tijuana discos and many began to get pulled into working for the
brothers in the drug trade. From interviews with "Steve" who was also a
"junior," and the Hodoyan family, it is clear that these young men and woman
became involved not necessarily out of a desire to become wealthy, but more out
of a desire for the "la fama," or the fame of being involved with gangsters.
Of Alex and Alfredo's generation of juniors, almost all are now either in jail,
missing or dead.
The Arellano-Felix brothers are still at large and US authorities believe that
they are still in control of the drug trade in Tijuana.
npr reports · interviews · discussion · archive · video · quizzes · charts · timeline
synopsis · teacher's guide · tapes & transcripts · press · credits · FRONTLINE · pbs online · wgbh
web site copyright 1995-2013 WGBH educational foundation.