World News – United States – Former Mexican Minister of Defense arrested in Los Angeles


Gen Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested at the airport at DEUNE’s request and will face drug and money laundering charges, federal law enforcement official said

MEXICO CITY – A former Mexican defense minister was arrested Thursday evening after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport with his family, according to the Mexican government, becoming the first senior military official to be taken into custody on sight in the United States in connection with drug-related corruption in his country

Former official Gen Salvador Cienfuegos, who served as Mexico’s defense minister from 2012 to 2018, has been arrested by US officials at the behest of the Drug Enforcement Administration and will face drug and drug charges and money laundering in the United States, according to a federal law enforcement official in New York

The news not only throws a veil over the nation’s fight against organized crime, it also highlights the forces of corruption affecting the highest levels of the Mexican government.The arrest of General Cienfuegos will not fail either more to thrill the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto

« There has never been a Minister of Defense in Mexico arrested, » said Jorge Castañeda, former Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs « The Minister of Defense in Mexico is a guy who not only heads the military and is a military man, but reports directly to the president There is no one above him except the president « 

The exact charges General Cienfuegos will face were not immediately clear, and Drug Enforcement Administration officials did not respond to requests for comment

General Cienfuegos was Minister of Defense at a time when homicides were reaching historic levels and drug cartels were at war

« It’s a huge deal, » said Alejandro Madrazo, professor at CIDE, a university in Mexico City. “The military has become much more corrupt and much more abusive since the declaration of the war on drugs, and for the first time it may not be untouchable – but not by the Mexican government, by the US government »

The Mexican military has played a central role in public safety since the crackdown on drug cartels began in 2006, deploying troops to areas overrun by organized crime Defense secretary oversees this effort

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Suspicions of corruption within the Mexican military have long surfaced in private conversations The crackdown on corruption has led to the arrest of politicians, police officers and even the official who is credited with creating the anti-drug strategy that spawned the war on drugs

But the military enjoys extraordinary autonomy, rarely yielding to political pressure and generally enjoying the protection of the president, who relies on them for the internal defense of the nation.

With the army at the heart of the fight against drug trafficking, the Mexican government has never established an effective police force The use of combat-trained soldiers but not the police has posed its own problems

The military has repeatedly been singled out for human rights violations and the use of excessive force, including charges of extrajudicial killings which harassed the armed forces throughout the mandate General Cienfuegos as Minister of Defense

But no senior Mexican military official has been accused of money laundering and drug trafficking Such accusations would represent a new front in the effort to fight corruption and the extraordinary power wielded by organized crime in Mexico

The previous important case in the fight against drug-related corruption in Mexico dates back to December 2019, when US authorities arrested Genaro García Luna, former secretary of public security and architect of the national war against the cartels He was accused of working for one of the cartels he was supposed to pursue

General Cienfuegos’ arrest does not appear to have been a joint operation with the Mexican government Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a Twitter post that the United States Ambassador only told him Thursday evening that the former Minister of Defense was taken into custody

Mexico, Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, Enrique Peña Nieto, Minister of Defense, Marcelo Ebrard

News from the world – United States – Former Mexican Minister of Defense arrested in Los Angeles


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