InSight Crime, 9/21/12
A retired Mexican general allegedly offered to serve as the Sinaloa Cartel’s main contact with the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), a glimpse at how security officials are sometimes co-opted by “Chapo” Guzman.
The retired brigadier general, Juan Manuel Barragan, reportedly met with two representatives sent by Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman, alias “El Chapo,” in December 2011, reported Mexico newspaper Reforma. He allegedly offered to help set up meetings between the cartel and Mexico’s top security officials, including the secretary of defense, the attorney general, and the head of the joint chiefs of staff, in exchange for $10,000…
According to Reforma, the two Sinaloa Cartel representatives asked to meet with Barragan in a Mexico City restaurant, Bros Oyster Bar, on December 21, but ended up meeting with him in his office in the SEDENA headquarters on December 24. The cartel emissaries taped the meeting. During the recording, Barragan reportedly said that he was attempting to set up a meeting with Defense Secretary Guillermo Galvan, but that the date kept getting postponed. Reforma reported that the video ended up in the hands of the military Attorney General’s Office two days later, perhaps suggesting that the meeting was a sting operation.
Barragan also supposedly said that he would give Galvan a $13,000 Rolex watch as a gift, engraved with Galvan’s name on the back, as a “token of appreciation” from El Chapo.