Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Mexico: Former President Calderon denies collusion with drug traffickers

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – Mexico’s former President Felipe Calderón denied on Tuesday colluding with any organized crime groups during his tenure, as a witness said during the trial of his former security secretary, Genaro Garcia Luna. Accused in the United States of receiving millions dollars in bribes to protect the Sinaloa Cartel.

Calderón, who was in power from 2006 to 2012, did not want to comment on the trial of his ally – who led a frontal war against the cartels during his government – arguing that he preferred to wait for the conclusion of the process.

However, on Tuesday he decided to make his first statement in this regard, when Edgar Vetia, a former prosecutor of the Mexican Pacific state, sentenced in the United States for drug trafficking, took the state to the defense of the Sinaloa Cartel. described Calderón’s alleged instructions to the government.

“I categorically deny the absurd statements made by Witness Veitia to the press today,” the former president wrote on his Twitter account. “What he says about me is an outright lie. I have never negotiated or agreed with criminals.”

According to reporters present at the trial in New York, the governor of Nayarit, the state in which Veitia was the prosecutor, told them that in a meeting with Calderón and García Luna in Mexico City, the two officials made it clear that Joe was part of the Sinaloa Cartel. to support Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, the then leader and now serving a life sentence in the United States.

Veitia, who was sentenced for aiding the Beltrán Leyva cartel – separate from the Sinaloa cartel – said the same message also came from Luis Cárdenas Palomino, García Luna’s right-hand man, who is also on trial in Mexico in connection with drug trafficking. is being run. ,

The former secretary’s defense tried to discredit Veitia’s testimony by showing that he did not mention Garcia Luna until US authorities arrested the former secretary in 2019.

Furthermore, he insisted, none of his comments were the result of direct conversations with the former security official but through third parties.

García Luna is accused of accepting millions of dollars to allow the Sinaloa Cartel to go unpunished while shipping tons of cocaine into US territory, as various witnesses have detailed in the two weeks that criminal proceedings have been ongoing.

His trial has raised high hopes in Mexico because the final information could be made public and could implicate high-ranking Mexican officials, including Calderón, as many consider it too difficult for García Luna to have that level of cooperation with the cartel. . Without knowing about the President of Sinaloa.

It is also in question whether Washington became aware of his ties to drug trafficking after US authorities considered him a model police officer.

However, it remains to be seen whether US prosecutors can provide concrete evidence – beyond mere witness statements, almost all of them have confessed to the crimes – that will persuade the jury.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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