In response to these allegations, the defense counsel representing Guzmán raised questions about the credibility of the witnesses for the prosecution. Luna, Mexico’s former top law enforcement official, made millions moonlighting as an enabler for the Sinaloa Cartel even as he stood as a symbol of his country’s struggling war on the narcotics best books on addiction recovery trafficking trade, prosecutors said at the start of his trial. Prosecutors are, however, using the testimony of so-called cooperating witnesses, including scarred and grizzly cartel operatives who could have made deals with prosecutors to take the stand. Some have confessed to killing multiple victims and were major traffickers.
“Every new US president has his trophy. With Trump was Chapo. After him, Biden has his trophy as well,” Colón added. Top editors give you the stories you want — delivered right to your inbox each weekday. Mexico’s attorney general holds a photo of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán at a news conference in Mexico City in July 2015. Under the terms of the “kingpin strategy” against narco-trafficking, Guzmán’s conviction would mark a mighty blow to drug-dealing. But it is testimonies like that on Calderoni which will outlive the proceedings in Brooklyn. Regino, who now works as a criminal law professor in Mexico, took to Twitter to deny the allegations, calling them “false” in Spanish.
Mr. Cardenas’s father was sentenced in 2010 to 25 years in a federal prison in Colorado known as the Alcatraz of the Rockies .
Cifuentes, who described himself as Guzman’s “right-hand man, his left-hand man,” had testified earlier Tuesday that Guzman had attempted a $10 million bribe to another high ranking Mexican official but was turned down because the official disliked Guzman. Cifuentes told authorities the money was given to Pena Nieto in October 2012, when he was president-elect. A former close personal aide to Joaquin alcohol can trigger headaches and migraines “El Chapo” Guzman testified Tuesday that the drug kingpin once paid a $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. Guzman was convicted in February by a Brooklyn federal jury of smuggling tonnes of drugs to the US over a decades-long career. The defendant faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, and up to life in prison, if convicted on a drug conspiracy charge.
Genaro Garcia Luna, 51, was arrested in Dallas, Texas, on Monday, and is expected to be moved to Brooklyn, New York, to face the charges, the US Department of Justice said. In October 2020, Salvador Cienfuegos, Mexico’s defense minister from 2012 to 2018, was arrested as he arrived in Los Angeles on a flight from Mexico City. “Guzmán has been in complete isolation. He had no access to any recreational area or access to any other area around the prison other than his cell,” Colón said. CIUDAD JUÁREZ, México — Five years after being extradited to the US, the Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is pointing fingers at what he says are the real powers behind the drug trade on both sides of the border. Peña Nieto has denied taking bribes, as has his predecessor Felipe Calderón, who was named in opening statements as having also been compromised, though further detail was ruled inadmissible by Judge Brian Cogan. Despite his diminutive stature and nickname that means “Shorty” in Spanish, Guzmán was once a larger-than-life kingpin both feared and admired in Mexico.
We welcome applications to contribute to UnHerd – please fill out the form below including examples of your previously published work. Overdose risk would drop dramatically, with better quality control and a wider range of safer drugs available to those seeking altered states. “The claims made by Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s lawyer are absolutely false. Neither he nor the Sinaloa cartel nor anyone else made any payments to me,” he wrote on Twitter. “Yes, that very thing is what Joaquin told me,” Cifuentes responded, adding that a bribe would ensure the kingpin could “continue working.” The stunning testimony came from Alex Cifuentes, a Colombian trafficker who once served as Guzman’s secretary and close personal aide. Drug trafficking was the most common offense, followed by bribery and human smuggling, and the vast majority of the cases cited by the center involved agents with 10 or fewer years of service.
Garcia Luna was head of Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency from 2001 to 2005 and the country’s secretary of public security from 2006 to 2012. In an October 2016 interview with the Mexican newspaper El Universal, a midlevel boss in La Línea, the armed wing of the Juárez cartel, said several chronic heavy drinking leads to serious risk of dementia, study warns US border agents were on their payroll. Testimony from Guzmán’s trial said several Mexican presidents, chiefs of police, and high-ranking military officers were involved in the drug trade. The former Sinaloa cartel chief says high-level officials are the real powers in the drug trade.
According to Alan Feuer of The New York Times, “It is no secret that Mexico’s drug cartels have, for decades, corrupted the authorities with dirty money.” Nonetheless, the testimony of some witnesses brought several shocking allegations. For example, the testimony of Vicente Zambada, son of Ismael Zambada an alleged partner of Guzmán. On the witness stand, Zambada claimed his father had a bribery budget of one million dollars a month, and all of it went to high ranking government officials. In a twist of fate, however, García Luna is now himself on trial in New York, accused of pocketing millions of dollars from those same kingpins after helping them traffic tons of cocaine to America. The trial, which began on 17 January in a federal court in Brooklyn and is expected to last eight weeks, breaks new ground in the drug war. Since Richard Nixon first declared a war on drugs in 1971, the US has taken down a vast array of Mexican traffickers — most famously Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who was convicted in the same Brooklyn courthouse in 2019.
The warehouse was just two blocks from a US customs office in the border city of Douglas. Under the previous political system, cartels frequently paid Mexican officials in order to easily traffic drugs north to the United States. Fox and his young protege García Luna presented themselves as reformers intent on professionalizing Mexico’s institutions. In exchange, they allege, García Luna provided the Sinaloa cartel with safe passage of its drugs as well as sensitive details about law enforcement investigations into the group and information about rival gangs. Drug traffickers have contributed to several scandals by American and Mexican officials who work on the border.
Before convicting Guzmán in 2019, jurors in his New York trial heard former cartel member Jesús Zambada testify that he personally made at least $6 million in hidden payments to García Luna, on behalf of his older brother, cartel boss Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. They say he continued to live off his ill-gotten proceeds even after he moved to the United States, where he was arrested in 2019, though the defense says he was a legitimate businessman. Cifuentes said in three separate meetings with US authorities, in 2016 and 2017, that $100 million was paid to Pena Nieto. He told prosecutors he had been confused about the exact amount of payment. As of 2016, the Center for Investigative Reporting documented 153 cases of corruption investigations targeting US border officers, the majority of them members of US Customs and Border Protection. García Luna and Cienfuegos have not been convicted, but a cartel enforcer in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juárez has said Guzmán’s accusations are not far from reality.
Guzman’s wife Emma Coronel Aispuro helped coordinate her husband’s second prison breakout in 2015 when he escaped from Mexico’s Altiplano prison through a long tunnel, according to testimony by Damaso Lopez Nunez, a former cartel lieutenant. Nunez said Aispuro, an American-born former pageant queen, passed along messages between Guzman and those who were in on the escape plans, according to the AP. The messages she shuttled back and forth contained orders on how to proceed initiating the tunnel plan, according to the Times. She declined to comment after the revelations were made in court, the Times reported. Jurors were later painted a bigger picture of how widespread corruption among the ranks may have hindered previous efforts to capture Guzman and other cartel leaders. Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Victor Vazquez, who was part of a small task force that recaptured Guzman, said that for the operation to succeed, it was crucial to leave Mexican police in the dark.
Before the trial started, the judge even had to rule that the defence could not ask them about potential acts of cannibalism — a practice that various gangsters have been found to engage in — because it might be “distracting”. After three days on the stand in the Brooklyn federal courtroom, the bombshell revelation was only brought up in court by defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, not prosecutors. García Luna is accused of accepting millions of dollars to allow Guzmán to “operate with impunity in Mexico” for more than a decade, according to the US Justice Department. At the same time, García Luna is suspected to have made deals with high-ranking officials inside top US national security and law enforcement agencies.
Zamabda said he gave him another $3 million to $5 million in 2007, when he had become secretary of public security, to secure favorable treatment for the cartel. In the courtroom, Guzman smiled and waved at the actor, who was sitting in the bench as a spectator. He later told reporters it was a “very surreal moment” to see Guzman in person and that he believes Guzman to be guilty.
It’s the latest in a string of U.S. cases targeting the Mexican narcotics industry, including this year’s conviction of Guzman on trafficking and murder charges. Genaro García Luna, shown in 2011, was Mexico’s secretary of public safety. Garcia Luna said he never had contact with Zambada and there was a public record of all his meetings in and out of the office when he was secretary of public security. Guzman, 61, is charged with 17 criminal counts and faces life in prison if he is convicted. He was extradited to the United States in January 2017, after twice escaping Mexican prisons. Garcia Luna said he had received commendations from high-level U.S. officials for his labors in fighting organized crime in Mexico and that he had been “systematically defamed” due to the actions he took against criminal networks.
In one instance in 2016, prosecutors allege, Reyes Arzate met personally with leaders of El Seguimiento 39, a drug trafficking ring with ties to the Sinaloa Cartel, and tipped them off on a pending US Drug Enforcement Administration investigation. “The defendant carried out these crimes in close coordination with other corrupt public officials in the Mexican government,” prosecutors from the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn allege. Last month, federal agents collared Genaro Garcia Luna, who served as Mexico’s secretary of public security from 2006 to 2012, on similar charges. In 2019, I covered a stretch of El Chapo’s trial, which was more enthusiastically embraced by the New York media.
The two met in 2010 when she was a 21-year-old local elected official in Sinaloa. Reyes Arzate — also known as “La Reina,” or “The Queen” — pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn Federal Court on Friday to charges of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine and is being detained without bail. “The defendant took their money and betrayed his oath to their country,” Pilmar argued at the start of what is slated to be an eight-week trial in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, where former Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was previously tried and convicted. I have no doubt the methods of the Chinese authorities were at times brutal though unlikely to have been more brutal than the methods of the cartels, I am not naive, but I do think there is some truth in the article. Villarreal also explained how the cartel’s close relationship with corrupt police actually succeeded in reducing Mexico’s murder rate for a period in 2007, just when Calderon’s offensive seemed to be going well.
The defense has sought to counter that reputation by portraying him as lesser figure in a drug gang. Zambada has testified that “El Chapo” and his brother were partners, and has portrayed Guzman as a bloodthirsty hothead whose favorite weapon was a diamond-encrusted pistol. On Monday, he recounted his brother telling him that Guzman ordered a competitor killed after the rival had refused to shake his hand in a 2004 meeting.
Garcia Luna, who was tasked with taking down the drug trafficking organization, is accused of taking in tens of millions in cartel bribe money that enabled the Sinaloa cartel to operate freely. In return, García Luna allowed the cartel’s cocaine to travel through Mexico, busted its rivals and passed on police intelligence. One time, the cartel used this intelligence to steal two tons of cocaine from rivals, Villarreal testified, and split the profits with García Luna himself.
Emma Coronel Aispuro, center, leaves Brooklyn federal court, in New York, after attending the trial of her husband Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman on Jan. 17, 2019. He was also ordered to give up $12.6 billion in what the government said were ill-gotten gains. From 2001 to 2005, Garcia ran the Federal Investigation Agency and from 2006 to 2012 he was Mexico’s secretary of public security.