The arrest of former Mexican Defence Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos in Los Angeles has put the spotlight on the actions of the United States, and particularly on its anti-drugs agency (DEA), for acting again without warning as Mexico's police and judge in view of the lack of investigations in the Latin American country.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, asked that the Secretary of Defense of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) be “punished” if his links with drug trafficking are confirmed, but he raised his voice against the interference of the DEA in Mexican affairs.
“What is not worth is that they participate in Mexico, even link to institutions in Mexico, get information and resolve without making it known to the Government of Mexico what they are doing research “, criticized the president in a press conference.
According to the indictment of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the general Cienfuegos, captured at the Los Angeles airport, guaranteed that no military operations were carried out against the H-2 cartel in exchange for bribes.
Investigation of the DEA against the former secretary, includes the interception of thousands of messages from Mexican mobile phones that would show that Cienfuegos, for whom the Prosecutor’s Office is requesting unconditional imprisonment, had put drug traffickers in contact with “corrupt officials.”
According to López Obrador, there is no investigation in Mexico against Cienfuegos for drug trafficking and the Government was unaware that the general was going to be captured in Los Angeles.
Although 15 days ago, the president was informed by the Embassy of Mexico in the United States, that in Washington there was “unofficial” information about an investigation against Cienfuegos.
For the security expert Juan Carlos Montero, “it is totally credible” that Mexico did not know anything because in the United States “They have always been very suspicious of informing the Mexican government” for fear that their investigations would “fall”.
The capture of highest position in the Army It adds to the arrest in December in the United States of Genaro García Luna, Secretary of Public Security of the Government of Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), accused of receiving bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel.
“The Mexican authorities look ridiculous because we have a strong institutional weakness and it is very rare that these cases are investigated in Mexico," Montero, who is also a researcher at Tecnológico de Monterrey, told Efe.
After this arrest, López Obrador announced that he will ask the United States authorities to “let him know about these operations” because he is “very concerned that the law is respected. sovereignty” from Mexico.
The president said that before his arrival to power in 2018, “some foreign agencies were totally” infiltrated, which “even decided on the matter of security and the fight against drug trafficking “in Mexico.
He specifically cited the Operation “Fast and Furious”, in which the United States secretly introduced thousands of weapons to Mexico to track drug trafficking during the Calderón administration.
“The Government of the United States owes us, on this matter, an explanation “, López Obrador stressed, assuring that said operation” caused the death of many people. “
“The annoyance with the DEA is that work at your leisure and set the standard for the work of Mexican security institutions, “internationalist José Enrique Sevilla told EFE, who believes that, regardless of whether the investigation against Cienfuegos is successful or not, this agency” considers Mexico as its zone. of influence “.
In everyone’s memory is the operations of capture of drug traffickers carried out by the DEA in Mexican territory, after the murder of its agent Enrique Camarena in 1985 in Guadalajara.
“By way of covered or covered, the DEA considers itself with the right to intervene in our country as it happened in the 90s and as it has happened in other Latin American countries, “said Montero.
But it is not by chance that López Obrador now raises his voice for interference in the capture of Cienfuegos, the highest office in the Army, and that he did not do so with him. arrest of García Luna, leader of the Federal Police.
“The Armed Forces are the mainstay of their government and a coup like this they will not accept easily,” said Sevilla, who recalled that López Obrador has formalized the role of the Army in public safety tasks and it has commissioned them to build the new capital airport, an emblematic infrastructure.
For this reason, although López Obrador announced that he will cease any member of the Army implicated in the plot of Cienfuegos, has been in charge on several occasions to demarcate the military forces from such practices.