Former Mexican defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos is arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for money laundering and drug trafficking

The arrest of a former Mexican defense ministry by U.S. authorities has landed here like a bombshell, said Raúl Trejo Delarbre at La Cronica de Hoy (Mexico). Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who headed the defense ministry from 2012 to 2018 under President Enrique Peña Nieto,was busted in Los Angeles International Airport last week on drug-trafficking and money-laundering charges. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration alleges this column of the Mexican establishment is actually El Padrino (the Godfather)– the dark and strong protector of the barbarous H-2 drug cartel. In return for hefty payouts, officials assert that the 72-year-old Cienfuegos not just led military operations from H-2 but really sent troops following the cartel’s rivals. In 1 instance, information allegedly supplied by Cienfuegos led to the murder of an H-2 manhood in- correctly identified as an informant. If these shocking allegations are accurate, Cienfuegos has conned us all together with his frequent and vehe- ment defenses of”the ethics of the Mexican military.” Worse, even if he’s guilty, there is”a huge gap in the safety of the Mexican state.”

Cienfuegos and Peña Nieto in 2016

Don’t rush to judgment, stated Jorge Fernández Menéndez at Excélsior (Mexico). Agents checked who was on the air and found it had been Cienfuegos–sparse evidence really. And if Cienfuegos is jagged, why did top Pentagon officials meet him in Washington two decades back, in the same moment he was being investigated by the DEA? And would such a strong man ally himself with this type of minor cartel? This arrest smells political. It might be the last effort of U.S. President Donald Trump’s losing campaign to tar honest Mexicans as criminals.
However, the case against Cienfuegos looks strong, stated Raymundo Riva Palacio at El Financiero (Mexico). U.S. prosecutors say that they have thousands of messages that are intercepted and records,”which suggests a long length of intel- ligence work” And also the fact that they didn’t ask Mexican authori- ties to conduct the arrest, but waited until Cienfuegos was on U.S. soil, shows they believe that the rot goes deeper than just this 1 man. It’s a dreadful blow to the standing of the Mexican military, traditionally the most reliable institution in the country. It’s also a major headache for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said Jacobo Garcia at El País (Spain). He has attempted to appease Trump and at first appeared content to attribute the government of his predecessor, Peña Nieto, saying any official linked into the Cienfuegos scandal would be suspended until the matter was investigated. But once he realized the top brass might be smeared, he changed tack and started coordinating U.S. agencies, accusing them of working with untrustworthy cartel sources. The military is”a fundamental pillar” of López Obrador’s authority.
Do not expect him to pry too deep into its secrets.

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