The former Mexican Secretary of Defense during the Government of Enrique Peña Nieto, General Salvador Cienfuegos, was handed over to Mexico on Wednesday after the United States withdraw the charges for drug trafficking and money laundering, as notified by the New York prosecutor who was handling the case.
In a brief letter to federal judge Carol Bagley Amon, prosecutor Seth DuCharme notified that “the United States Marshals have successfully transferred the defendant to Mexico.”
Amon had ordered this Wednesday during a hearing in New York the withdrawal of charges against Cienfuegos and his transfer to Mexico after the agreement made public on Tuesday by the governments of Donald Trump and Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“The US Department of Justice has made the decision to request the withdrawal of the criminal charges against former Secretary Cienfuegos so that he can be investigated and, if appropriate, be charged, in accordance with Mexican law,” they indicated in a joint communication between the two countries.
In another document, DuCharme indicated that “the Department of Justice considers that this dismissal is in the public interest of the United States in recognition of the close cooperation between the United States and Mexico in bilateral investigations of the security forces.”
Cienfuegos, former Secretary of Defense of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) was detained on October 15 at the Los Angeles airport and later transferred to New York. The general pleaded not guilty to the charges he was accused of, allegedly committed while he was minister.
The López Obrador government then expressed its disagreement with that of the United States for not sharing the information that led to the arrest of General Salvador Cienfuegos.
López Obrador is, precisely, one of the few leaders in the world who still nor has recognized the victory of the US president-elect., Joe Biden, in the election two weeks ago.
The Mexican president defended this Wednesday that “there is nothing hidden” nor “nothing in return” in the agreement with the United States by General Cienfuegos.
Cienfuegos was considered one of the most reputable soldiers in the Armed Forces and highly esteemed among the troops, a career clouded by the Ayotzinapa massacre and, now, by his arrest at the request of the US Anti-Drug Agency (DEA, in its acronym in English). ).