The former Mexican Secretary of Defense during the Government of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), Salvador Cienfuegos, arrived in Mexico this Wednesday from New York City after the withdrawal of charges for drug trafficking and money laundering by the Attorney General’s Office of the United States, reported the Attorney General’s Office (FGR).
In a statement, the institution indicated that at 6:40 p.m. (00:40 GMT) a United States Government aircraft arrived at the hangar of the Prosecutor’s Office, located at the airport of Toluca, state of Mexico, about 50 kilometers from the Mexican capital. , which came from New Jersey. “Once said aircraft arrived, the reception tasks were carried out.”
“At 18:48 hours (00.48 GMT) the retired major general, former secretary of National Defense, Salvador Cienfuegos Cepeda, dressed in formal clothes and a tie, descended,” the note said.
The Prosecutor’s Office reported that when he descended, “he was accompanied to a private room in the offices of the aforementioned FGR hangar, where, with his consent, a medical expert opinion was carried out to verify his state of health upon arrival. country, which was favorable. “
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.” This folder was initiated by the FGR, with the information received from the Department of Justice of the United States of America, “and henceforth the investigation will be in charge of the Mexican authorities, through the FGR.”
Cienfuegos “was notified and provided all his personal and contact information, including address and cell phone, where he can be located and summoned for the proceedings that may be required and ordered by the Public Ministry, expressing his total willingness to attend to his own requirements. Of the investigation”.
The Prosecutor’s Office indicated that at 7:12 p.m. (01.12 GMT) Cienfuegos “withdrew from the offices of the FGR in the hangar of Toluca, state of Mexico, thus ending the corresponding ministerial proceedings.”
Cienfuegos was released this Wednesday of all drug trafficking and money laundering charges that the US authorities had filed against him, and he is scheduled to travel back to his country immediately, accompanied by members of the US security forces. .UU.
Judge Carol Amon, of the Eastern District Court of New York, in Brooklyn, dismissed the accusation against Cienfuegos at the request of the United States Government, which less than 24 hours before the scheduled court hearing announced that it had reached an agreement with Mexico so that they would be the ones to investigate the general and, if necessary, press charges.
“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,” said this Wednesday from the National Palace the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in a morning press conference dedicated exclusively to the subject and lasting almost two hours.
The president had criticized the arrest in the United States because it exemplified the external interference of the DEA in Mexico.
For this reason, for the president, this was an act of diplomacy, with the direct intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Relations (SRE), recognizing that it intervened for the reputation of the Army, and avoiding that without evidence “our institutions are undermined.”
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 has pleaded not guilty to the five charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, allegedly committed while he was minister.
Cienfuegos, Enrique Peña Nieto’s former Secretary of Defense (2012-2018), was detained at the Los Angeles airport in mid-October and later transferred to New York. The general pleaded not guilty on November 2 to the charges brought against him.
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.
Cienfuegos was considered one of the most reputable military personnel in the Armed Forces and highly esteemed among the troops, a career marred by the Ayotzinapa massacre and, now, by his arrest at the request of the US Anti-Drug Agency (DEA, for its acronym in English). ).