NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Describing meetings at a car wash and a kingpin’s country home, a former drug lord testified Monday that he paid Mexican Public Security Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna millions of dollars to help, This included information from the US government about a large consignment of cocaine in Mexico.
Oscar Nava Valencia, better known as “El Lobo”, said the payments made to García Luna were intended to ensure security at a time when a feud in the Sinaloa Cartel was about to spark a drug war.
Garcia Luna and a high-ranking police agent said they were going to support Nava Valencia’s group, the jury told the jury at Garcia Luna’s federal trial in the United States for drug trafficking.
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.
Lawyers for the defendants have not had the opportunity to question Nava Valencia, but have argued that the case is based on the lies of criminals who protect their own interests. García Luna has pleaded not guilty, and his attorneys have argued that the former Mexican federal officer tried hard to combat drug trafficking and is being let down by the US government, which has never wanted him. Was considered a partner.
Nava Valencia, sometimes known as “El Lobo” Valencia, had pleaded guilty years earlier to involvement in cocaine trafficking. He used to be the head of the Mexican Millenio Cartel.
During that time that organization had ties to the Sinaloa Cartel, led by notorious Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán, whose recent trial in the United States included testimony about alleged payments to García Luna.
Nava Valencia told jurors that it paid García Luna and other high-ranking Mexican government officials $5 million to try to free a container carrying 10 tons of Colombian cocaine seized at the port in 2007. From Manzanillo, Ocean to the coast of the Pacific.
Drugs not recovered from drug smugglers. In fact, according to Nava Valencia, a few days later another 10-ton container was confiscated and the drugs were burned.
Nava Valencia said that during a meeting a month later at the cartel kingpin’s country home outside the central Mexican city of Cuernavaca, García Luna said he was unable to intervene because the US government and Mexican Marines were involved in the seizure.
But he pointed out that García Luna complied in another way: He later handed over a document showing the US government knew about the shipment and its origins, information the Mexican smugglers used to convince their angry Colombian suppliers. The problem was the responsibility of the Colombian people. Nava Valencia said the Colombian people supported its demand for a $50 million refund.
Nava Valencia reported a second face-to-face meeting with García Luna sometime amid an internal division in the Sinaloa Cartel. Nava Valencia eventually sided with the Guzmán faction, which feared that its ally-rivals would inform the police to the authorities to harass their new rivals.
Nava Valencia explained that they were going to face operations and investigations, and that they wanted to try to stop them.
So, he said, he and his aides paid $500,000 to be able to meet with García Luna, and another $2.5 million to meet the security secretary in an office above a car wash in downtown Guadalajara. came for It was then, according to Nava Valencia, that García Luna and the police officer accompanying him promised to support him.
García Luna led the Federal Investigation Agency from 2001 to 2005, and was then Secretary of Public Security in the government of President Felipe Calderón from 2006 to 2012. She left her government position and moved to Miami in 2012. He was arrested in Texas in 2019. , and has since been held in federal prison without bail.
Garcia Luna could face decades in prison if convicted of drug trafficking and involvement in criminal activities.