Arrest of Mexican defense Ministry shakes military

MEXICO CITY — The arrest of Mexico’s former defense minister in the USA on charges he shielded a drug cartel in exchange for bribes is a setback to Mexico’s army, among the few associations that had claimed the confidence of that public.

Until Thursday’s arrest of retired Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos in Los Angeles International Airport, the army was respected by seeming to be mostly over the corruption commonly seen in different portions of Mexico’s security devices, despite documented human rights abuses.

For Mexico’s past 3 presidents at least, the army was the security force that can be deployed against the country’s powerful drug cartels. U.S. prosecutors’ allegations which Cienfuegos was nicknamed”the Godfather” and hauled on direct discussions with the chief of a barbarous cartel transferring cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin to the USA led several Mexicans to question: what now?

“You can not argue anymore that you are likely to ship in the military since it is the least corrupt institution. It is the same or more tainted than others.”

He had been scheduled to make a first appearance in court via video phone Friday afternoon and also to finally be moved to New York in which the case originated.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday his ambassador to the United States Martha Bárcena advised two weeks ago there was an investigation there between Cienfuegos, who’d been Mexico’s leading army official throughout the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto by 2012 to 2018.

“That is an unmistakable case of the decomposition of this authorities, of the civil support, was the government service throughout the neoliberal period,” López Obrador said. He explained there wasn’t any drug-related evaluation of Cienfuegos in Mexico.

He also offered a vote of confidence to present military leaders claiming the leaders of this military and navy he chose are”incorruptible.”

However, the allegations from Cienfuegos are certain to spur doubt that anybody is.

According to records filed by U.S. prosecutors, Cienfuegos assisted a drug trafficking organization dubbed the”H-2 cartel,” by asserting army operations were not conducted contrary to them, behaving contrary to their opponents, introducing cartel leaders into alternative corrupt officials, and caution the cartel regarding U.S. investigations. In 1 instance, his warning regarding U.S. usage of confidential informants caused the murder of a cartel member leaders thought”wrongly” was supporting U.S. police.

Mexico’s defense secretary isn’t only another Cabinet post. It is equal to become king of a different fiefdom. In Mexico, there’s an iron-clad arrangement that the military does not interfere with politics, and politicians — that the president included — do not interfere with the military’s internal affairs. The president does not just select a defense secretary — he selects from a list of candidates the generals submit.

López Obrador said Friday that the recent leaders of the military and navy were not titles Cienfuegos had recommended.

The energy that Cienfuegos wielded led military writer Juan Ibarrola, that regularly expresses the military perspective, to express disbelief in a meeting with W Radio Friday.

“A secretary-general can not be a criminal, can not take part in the selling or supply of drugs, or anything like this, it is not mandatory, they do not desire it,” Ibarrola explained. Until proven otherwise, he stated Cienfuegos had an undercover army career.

Mexico’s reliance on its army has just climbed under López Obrador. He’s entrusted it using not just leading the government’s ongoing struggle with drug cartels, but also with quitting uncontrolled gas pipeline thieving, building important infrastructure projects, and being the backbone of their new, apparently civilian, National Guard.

“it is a time once the president has placed together with an immense quantity of confidence and responsibility in the hands of their armed forces under the argument that they’re more trustworthy and it is the cleaner association and what this situation shows is corruption could visit some level,” explained Maureen Meyer, vice president for applications and manager for Mexico and migrant rights in the Washington Office on Latin America.

Even though López Obrador talks each day, for example, Friday, about corruption is in the origin of all Mexico’s issues, the largest catches of his sentence have come throughout the boundary in the USA.

Cienfuegos, 72, is the next former Mexican cupboard official detained in the U.S. on drug prices in the last year.

Genaro García Luna was detained a year ago in Texas on drug trafficking charges.

The García Luna situation and Cienfuegos would signify 12 straight years of corruption in the greatest levels of Mexico’s security efforts, Meyer explained.

Cienfuegos isn’t the very first general detained for involvement with drug traffickers. He had been arrested the next year after it was found he was residing in a lavish apartment possessed by the leader of the Juarez cartel, Amado Carrillo Fuentes.

Beneath Cienfuegos, Mexico continued its pursuit of this war about the drug cartels found under Calderon. Guzman was seized twice while Cienfuegos was in control — in 2014 and 2016 — but the military wasn’t directly involved in. There was discussion in the time that the DEA had greater confidence in Mexico’s marines for behaving on the sensitive intellect.

A Colombian drug trafficker surfaced early past year in Guzman’s U.S. trial the kingpin had accounted for paying for a $100 million paychecks to Peña Nieto to call off the search for him.

Samuel González, who based Mexico’s special prosecutor’s office for organized crime in the 1990s, stated that the prosecutions of both Guzman,” García Luna and Cienfuegos exemplify that”it is a trial contrary to each of the cartels as well as the ties between public servants and the cartels.”

“It is a really powerful paradigm shift,” he explained. “In the United States they’re getting into the whole security area and it is the first time they are doing this. Are they likely to enter the governmental protection and arrive in an ex-president? It appears like the prosecutors in New York want to enter the political arena”