Mexico ‘s former Secretary of Defense under President Enrique Peña Nieto, General Salvador Cienfuegos, reached Wednesday to Mexico from the city of New York following the withdrawal of charges of drug trafficking and money laundering by the Attorney General of the United United , has reported the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR).
In a statement, the institution has indicated that at 6:40 p.m. (00:40 GMT), an aircraft of the Government of Mexico has arrived at the hangar of the Prosecutor’s Office, located at the Toluca Airport, State of Mexico, about 50 kilometers from the Mexican capital. the United States that came from the New Jersey Airport.
Later, an agent of the Public Ministry of the Federation “formally notified General Cienfuegos of the existence of an investigation in which he is involved .” Said folder was initiated by the FGR with the information received from the US Department of Justice, “and from now on the investigation will be in charge of the Mexican authorities,” he added.
Federal judge Carol Bagley Amon had ordered this Wednesday during a hearing in New York the withdrawal of charges against Cienfuegos and his transfer to Mexico after the agreement made public on Tuesday by the governments of Donald Trump and Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“The US Department of Justice has made the decision to request the withdrawal of the criminal charges against former Secretary Cienfuegos so that he can be investigated and, if appropriate, be charged, in accordance with Mexican law, ” they said in a joint communication between the two countries.
Cienfuegos, Enrique Peña Nieto’s former Secretary of Defense (2012-2018) was arrested on October 15 at the Los Angeles airport and later transferred to New York. The general pleaded not guilty to the charges he was accused of, allegedly committed while he was minister.
“There is nothing hidden, we act from principles and what was done in this case was to intervene in political and diplomatic matters, to express our disagreement,” the president of Mexico said this Wednesday from the National Palace at a press conference morning dedicated exclusively to the subject and of almost two hours.
López Obrador had criticized the detention in the United States because it exemplified the external interference of the DEA in Mexico.
For the president, this was an act of diplomacy, with the direct intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), recognizing that it intervened for the reputation of the Army, and avoiding that without evidence “our institutions are undermined.”
The district attorney for the eastern district of New York accused him of being involved in the production, trafficking and distribution of 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram of heroin, crimes that they claimed committed between 2015 to 2017, when he was in charge of the Secretariat of National Defense of Mexico. The general has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Cienfuegos was considered one of the most reputable soldiers in the Armed Forces and highly esteemed among the troops, a career clouded by the Ayotzinapa massacre and, now, by his arrest at the request of the United States Anti-Drug Agency (DEA, for its acronym in English).