Mexico: witness to disappearance of 43 students alleges soldiers involved in attack


Source: The Guardian

A witness to the disappearance of 43 Mexican student teachers has alleged that soldiers were involved in the 2014 attack , the country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has confirmed.

The disappearance of the trainees from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College on 26 September 2014 rocked Mexico, sparking widespread protests and calls for justice, but the investigation into the case has been widely criticized.


Mexico Exonerates Ex-Defense Chief Who Was Freed by the U.S.


Source: The New York Times

MEXICO CITY — The authorities in Mexico say they will bring no charges against a former top military official who was arrested in the United States last year on drug-trafficking and corruption charges, only to be sent home at the request of the outraged Mexican government.

The former defense minister, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, had been accused by the U.S. authorities of taking bribes in exchange for protecting drug cartel leaders. He was arrested at the request of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Los Angeles in October.


Mexico issues warrant for ex-security chief accused of aiding cartel


Source: Yahoo! News

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has issued an arrest warrant for a former security minister wanted on corruption charges and may request his extradition from the United States where he is being held awaiting trial, an official told Reuters.

Ex-Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna pled not guilty last month to U.S. charges involving a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme allegedly designed to boost the Sinaloa cartel once headed by jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.


The Shadowy Drug Cartel That Brought Down Mexico’s Former Top General


Source: VICE

MEXICO CITY – The family holiday of Mexico’s former defense minister, retired General Salvador Cienfuegos was cut short when he flew into Los Angeles last week. He was arrested before he could leave the airport. Most knew Cienfuegos as the man who led Mexico’s efforts against drug cartels from 2012 to 2018, but U.S. law enforcement accused him of being known as “El Padrino”, or the Godfather in the criminal underworld.

Proof of how Cienfuegos assisted a little-known group called the H-2 Cartel between 2015 and 2017 to move “thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into the United States” by “ensuring that military operations were not conducted against the H-2 Cartel” and “initiating military operations against its rival drug trafficking organizations,” was the basis of the arrest, according to American officials.


Surprise at US move to drop drug charges against ex-Mexican minister


Source: The Guardian

US moves to drop charges against a former Mexican defence minister accused of drug trafficking and money laundering have sparked celebration, consternation and bewilderment.

Gen Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested at Los Angeles airport last month and accused of being at the heart of a multimillion dollar conspiracy to smuggle huge shipments of drugs into the US.


U.S. Moves To Drop Drug Trafficking Charges Against Mexico’s Former Defense Minister


Source: NPR

The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to drop charges against a former Mexican defense secretary, the highest-ranking Mexican official ever arrested for alleged drug trafficking, so that he “may be investigated and, if appropriate, charged, under Mexican law.”

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, nicknamed The Godfather, had been accused of working on behalf of one of Mexico’s deadliest cartels, known as the H-2. Authorities alleged Cienfuegos took bribes to protect the cartel and its leaders by informing them of pending military actions against them. An indictment in the Eastern District of New York also alleged he used troops to launch operations against a rival cartel.


Mexican President Orders Inquiry Into Report That Aide Paid Shell Firms


Source: U.S. News & World Report

MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador urged authorities on Monday to look into a report accusing a top aide of financial impropriety, while calling it part of a media campaign aimed at bringing his administration into disrepute.

Newspaper El Universal said Lopez Obrador’s private secretary Alejandro Esquer had hired shell companies in the 2018 presidential election campaign when Esquer was finance secretary of the ruling National Regeneration Movement party (MORENA).


Mexico tried, failed to get warrant for ex-cabinet secretary


Yahoo! News

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president confirmed Tuesday that federal prosecutors had tried to get an arrest warrant for former Treasury and Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray, but said a judge rejected the request.

Videgaray, currently a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, is considered the political figure closest to former President Enrique Peña Nieto, in whose 2012-2018 administration he served.


U.S. arrest of former Mexican defense chief tests anti-drug alliance


The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — During the years that Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos spent as Mexico’s defense secretary, he would sometimes brag about the partnership he helped build with American officials.

“The only thing that I am sure of is that the bilateral, military-to-military and defense-to-defense relationship between Mexico and the United States will continue to strengthen more and more,” Cienfuegos told Craig Deare, a former assistant U.S. defense attache in Mexico and a military historian, before leaving office in late 2018.


Mexico’s Former Defense Minister Is Arrested in Los Angeles


Source: New York Times

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

The former official, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, who was Mexico’s defense minister from 2012 to 2018, was arrested by American officials at the request of the Drug Enforcement Administration and will face drug and money-laundering charges in the United States, according to a federal law enforcement official in New York.