Former Mexican defence secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the nation’s military for six years beneath ex-President Enrique Pena Nieto, has been arrested at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport, U.S. and Mexican sources confirmed Thursday.
An individual with data of the arrest stated Cienfuegos was arrested on a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warrant.
Mexico’s International Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, didn’t say on what prices Cienfuegos was detained. He wrote on his Twitter account that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Landau had knowledgeable him of the final’s arrest and that Cienfuegos had a proper to obtain consular help.
A senior Mexican official who can’t be quoted as a result of he wasn’t approved to present particulars of the case stated officers are ready to be advised the particular prices.
The official stated Cienfuegos was arrested when he arrived on the Los Angeles airport along with his household. His members of the family had been launched and he was taken to the Metropolitan Detention Heart.
Cienfuegos served from 2012 to 2018 as secretary of defence beneath Pena Nieto. He’s the highest-ranking former Cupboard official arrested because the high Mexican safety official Genaro Garcia Luna was arrested in Texas in 2019. Garcia Luna, who served beneath former President Felipe Calderon, has pleaded not responsible to drug trafficking prices.
Cienfuegos is 72 years previous and has retired from energetic obligation. Mexico’s Defence Division had no fast response to the arrest.
Mike Vigil, the DEA’s former chief of worldwide operations, stated when he was in Mexico in 2012 he heard corruption allegations about Cienfuegos.
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“There have been at all times allegations of corruption, nothing we may sink our enamel into. That was form of unprecedented as a result of Mexico has at all times put the army on a pedestal,” stated Vigil, creator of the ebook “The Land of Enchantment Cartel.”
“The corruption is simply coming to roost, as a result of people who had been as soon as untouchable at the moment are getting arrested,” Vigil stated. “In the event that they co-operate (with U.S. prosecutors) there are others who’re going to be falling, noting U.S. officers “often don’t need to commerce down, they often commerce up,” searching for proof towards equal or higher-ranking officers. “It’s actually a precarious scenario for Mexico to have two Cupboard-level officers arrested within the U.S.”
Regardless of the prices, it will likely be a tricky blow for Mexico, the place the military and navy are a few of the few remaining revered public establishments.
Whereas present President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has vowed to go after corruption and lawbreaking beneath previous administrations, he has additionally relied extra closely on the military — and charged it with extra duties, starting from constructing infrastructure tasks to distributing medical provides — than another president in latest historical past.
Beneath Cienfuegos, the Mexican military was accused of frequent human rights abuses, however that was true of each his predecessors and his successor within the publish.
The worst scandal in Cienfuegos’ tenure concerned the 2014 military killings of suspects in a grain warehouse.
The June 2014 bloodbath concerned troopers who killed 22 suspects on the warehouse within the city of Tlatlaya. Whereas some died in an preliminary shootout with the military patrol — during which one soldier was wounded — a human rights investigation later confirmed that a minimum of eight and maybe as many as a dozen suspects had been executed after they surrendered.
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