“Whoever is culpable in line with our legal guidelines shall be tried, judged and if relevant sentenced in Mexico, and never in different international locations, and that’s the foundation which has been inspired with this settlement,” stated Overseas Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard. “That’s what has been mentioned, what has been agreed and what has been maintained with U.S. authorities.”
U.S. officers themselves have given no trace that the settlement went past the Cienfuegos case.
Ebrard’s assertion was not clear on whether or not Mexico would proceed extraditing accused drug traffickers to face expenses in U.S. courts, because it has performed typically prior to now, or whether or not he was solely referring to officers accused of collaborating with drug gangs.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Division of Justice requested dismissal of drug trafficking and cash laundering expenses in opposition to ex-Protection Secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos that he be returned to Mexico within the curiosity of sustaining cross-border cooperation. That call got here after studies that Mexico had threatened to expel the Drug Enforcement Administration’s regional director and brokers.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador denied that Thursday, saying, “We didn’t threaten anyone. All we did was specific our disagreement.”
“We didn’t threaten to expel the brokers. We stated we need to be told and for the cooperation agreements to be revered,” López Obrador stated.
Lopez Obrador additionally stated of the case “I believe it’s an injustice for harmless folks to be placed on trial.”
“You can’t enable overseas businesses to strive Mexicans if there is no such thing as a proof,” stated López Obrador, who depicted it as a nationwide sovereignty problem. “Simply because they’re different international locations’ authorized establishments, does that make them the house owners of justice and rectitude.”
Cienfuegos was returned to Mexico Wednesday and was promptly launched.
Ebrard vowed that the investigation into Cienfuegos can be “worthy of Mexico’s status and dignity.” However the complete means of notifying Cienfuegos of the investigation and processing him again into the nation took solely a few half hour, far much less time than the typical traveler spends in customs and immigration.
Ebrard appeared to concentrate on the harm to Mexico’s repute if Mexican prosecutors, as many count on, fail to carry their very own expenses in opposition to Cienfuegos.
“It could be very expensive for Mexico, to have determined to have this dialog with the USA, to realize the dropping of expenses in opposition to a former cupboard secretary for the primary time in historical past … for him to be returned to Mexico, after which later do nothing,” Ebrard stated. “That may be virtually suicidal.”
The complete scope of Mexico’s strain was not clear and officers had been obscure about what led them to drop expenses in a case they’d celebrated as a serious breakthrough simply final month, when federal brokers nabbed the retired normal in Los Angeles.
Two officers, one Mexican and one American, stated Mexico’s techniques concerned threatening to expel the Drug Enforcement Administration’s regional director and brokers except the U.S. dropped the case. However they stated that was solely a part of the negotiation. They might not elaborate.
The officers requested to not be named as a result of they weren’t approved to talk publicly concerning the case.
A choose in New York Metropolis authorised the dismissal of expenses on Wednesday, capping a lightning-fast turnaround in a case that drew loud protests from prime officers in Mexico and threatened to break the fragile relationship that permits investigators in each international locations to pursue drug kingpins collectively.
Mexico depicted the case as a victory for the nation’s sovereignty and its demand to be handled as an equal accomplice by the USA, a hanging place given that the majority assume that Mexico’s court docket system — and corrupt officers — are the weak hyperlinks within the nation’s combat in opposition to drug trafficking.
Cienfuegos, 72, was secretly indicted by a federal grand jury in New York in 2019. He was accused of conspiring with the H-2 cartel in Mexico to smuggle 1000’s of kilos of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana whereas he was protection secretary from 2012 to 2018.
Prosecutors stated intercepted messages confirmed that Cienfuegos accepted bribes in trade for guaranteeing the army didn’t take motion in opposition to the cartel and that operations had been initiated in opposition to its rivals. He was additionally accused of introducing cartel leaders to different corrupt Mexican officers.
Mexican officers complained that the U.S. didn’t share proof in opposition to Cienfuegos and that his arrest got here as a shock. It additionally induced alarm inside Mexico’s army, which has performed an important position in operations in opposition to drug cartels.
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