Diaspora Info

Information Everywhere

Mexico Former Top Security Official Begins Drug Trial

Genaro Garcia Luna

The man accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for assisting the formidable Sinaloa Cartel move drugs and aid its members evade detention is currently on trial. He was previously Mexico’s top security official and in charge of combating the drug gangs.

Genaro Garca Luna was most known for leading the violent war on cartels between 2006 and 2012 as the muttering, intimidating national security secretary of former President Felipe Calderón.

According to the prosecution, Garca Luna received tens of millions of dollars, frequently hidden in briefcases, since he was so bold. Pay stubs are part of the evidence against him, although it’s unclear if they come from official positions, private sector consulting work, cartel money, or other bribes.

Even after relocating to the United States, where he was arrested in 2019, they claim he continued to live off of his illicit gains. The defense claims he was a genuine businessman. In the trial that will take place over the following eight weeks, jury selection was slated to continue on Wednesday.

By bribing Mexican police and military officials all the way to the top ranks, the case may ultimately uncover the inner workings of how Mexican cartels have been able to operate so openly for so long.

“For decades, Mexico’s political class, from all political parties, has endeavored to use all means necessary to try and imprison in Mexico security ministers, generals, police commanders, interior secretary, and other high-ranking officials. All of that was done to prevent them from disclosing information on connections between politicians and the drug gangs, according to Mexican security expert David Saucedo. “The trial of Garcia Luna in the United States deviates from that pattern.”

However, López Obrador himself fought valiantly to prevent the 2020 U.S. prosecution of former defense secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos on comparable charges, even threatening to expel U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents from Mexico unless the general was returned, which happened to be the case.

Only a few days have passed since López Obrador and US President Joe Biden met in Mexico City before the trial started. The two countries committed to continuing their collaboration in the fight against drug cartels, particularly in the fight against the synthetic opioid fentanyl, which in 2021 was a major cause of more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States. Garca Luna‘s former civilian federal police force was abolished by López Obrador, who also gave the military control of several aspects of national security.

When your entire national security strategy depends on the armed forces, Ana Vanessa Cárdenas, an expert in international security at the Anahuac University, said of Calderón’s conservative National Action Party, “It’s not the same to put a civilian PAN official on trial, as it is to put a defense secretary on trial.”

Garca Luna has entered a not-guilty plea to allegations of narcotics trafficking and maintaining a criminal organization. If found guilty, he risked serving decades in prison.

He will come up against a barrage of government witnesses in a Brooklyn courtroom, including high-ranking cartel figures that haven’t seen there since Sinaloa boss Joaqun “El Chapo” Guzmán was found guilty and given a life sentence there in 2019. At the Guzmán trial, some allegations against Garca Luna were made public.

In a court document filed this week, U.S. Attorney Breon Peace stated that Garca Luna “used his official positions while holding public office to assist the Sinaloa Cartel… in exchange for multimillion-dollar payments.” The government anticipates that several witnesses, including a number of former high-ranking Sinaloa Cartel members, would testify at trial regarding bribes given to the defendant in exchange for protection.

Garca gave the Sinaloa Organization “safe passage for its drug shipments, critical law enforcement information about investigations into the cartel, and information about competing drug cartels” in return for the bribes, according to Peace. The cartel was sometimes able to get warnings before law enforcement efforts to seize cartel members and to allow cartel members to be released if arrested thanks to these payments.

Jess Zambada, a former cartel member, testified that he personally made at least $6 million in covert payments to Garca Luna on behalf of his older brother, cartel commander Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, during the 2019 trial that led to Guzmán’s conviction.

At least three of Guzmán’s sons, including Zambada, are now said to be in charge of the cartel; one of them was detained earlier this month in response to an extradition request from the United States.

Garca Luna is not the first high-ranking Mexican official to be detained for ties to drug trafficking. President Ernesto Zedillo appointed Gen. Jess Gutierrez Rebollo as Mexico’s drug czar in 1996. The next year, it was determined that he was residing in a lavish apartment owned by Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the head of the Juarez cartel. This led to his arrest.

Leave a Reply

Instagram did not return a 200.
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial