MADRID, 19 Nov. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos (2012-2018) arrived in the country on Wednesday to be tried there, after the United States Department of Justice, where he has been detained for a month, decided on Tuesday not to file charges of drug trafficking and money laundering against him.
Cienfuegos has landed at the Toluca International Airport, in the State of Mexico, coming from New Jersey, and has been received by authorities of the Attorney General’s Office, who have officially transmitted that they have initiated an investigation against him for alleged crimes of drug trafficking that he would have committed at the head of the Ministry of Defense during the administration of former President Enrique Peña Nieto.
“General Cienfuegos was notified and provided all his personal and contact information, including address and cell phone, where he can be located and summoned for the proceedings that may take place and order the Public Ministry of the Federation”, has transferred the Prosecutor’s Office in a statement.
The day before, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, reported that Cienfuegos would be repatriated to Mexico, after reaching an agreement with the United States Department of Justice, which finally ruled out filing charges against the former Minister of Defense for the that he was arrested in mid-October in Los Angeles.
“He will continue his process in Mexico, he will return to our country. It means that Mexican laws will be applied because the events referred to in the United States investigation were presumably committed in Mexican territory,” Ebrard announced at a press conference.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has also made reference to the case, who has assured that “there is nothing hidden” in the withdrawal of the charges by the US Justice against former minister Cienfuegos.
“It is not an impunity agreement (…). It is therefore a decision that we positively acknowledge and that should result in cooperation being maintained on the basis of respect for Mexican sovereignty and jurisdiction,” said the president. , which has indicated that “whoever is responsible should be prosecuted before the Mexican authority.”
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According to the investigations of the ‘Operation Godfather’ of the Department for Drug Control (DEA, for its acronym in English) of the United States, Cienfuegos, in collaboration with the former director of the Ministry of Public Security, Genaro García Luna, would have Collaborated in exchange for bribes in the transport, distribution and production of illicit substances with the so-called H-2 cartel, a split from the diminished Beltrán Leyva Brothers cartel.
This is the first time in the history of Mexico that a former defense minister has been arrested for his alleged relationship with criminal groups linked to drug trafficking, either in the United States or on Mexican soil.