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Federal prosecutors revealed on Tuesday that authorities have charged Genaro Garcia Luna, the former Secretary of Public Security in Mexico from 2006 to 2012, for his involvement in an alleged drug trafficking conspiracy with Mexico’s largest and most powerful drug cartel and for making false statements.
“According to the indictment and other court filings by the government, from 2001 to 2012, while occupying high-ranking law enforcement positions in the Mexican government, Garcia Luna received millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel in exchange for providing protection for its drug trafficking activities,” the Department of Justice said in a statement. “From 2001 to 2005, Garcia Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency, and from 2006 to 2012, he served as Mexico’s Secretary of Public Security, controlling Mexico’s Federal Police Force.”
“In exchange for the payment of bribes, the Sinaloa Cartel obtained safe passage for its drug shipments, sensitive law enforcement information about investigations into the Cartel, and information about rival drug cartels, thereby facilitating the importation of multi‑ton quantities of cocaine and other drugs into the United States,” the DOJ continued. “On two occasions, the Cartel personally delivered bribe payments to Garcia Luna in briefcases containing between three and five million dollars. According to financial records obtained by the government, by the time Garcia Luna relocated to the United States in 2012, he had amassed a personal fortune of millions of dollars.”
The case, which is being prosecuted in the Eastern District of New York, also alleges that Garcia Luna also committed a crime by trying to hide his history of alleged criminal activity with the Sinaloa cartel when he submitted an application for naturalization in 2018.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the charges, saying, “Garcia Luna stands accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes from ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel while he controlled Mexico’s Federal Police Force and was responsible for ensuring public safety in Mexico. Today’s arrest demonstrates our resolve to bring to justice those who help cartels inflict devastating harm on the United States and Mexico, regardless of the positions they held while committing their crimes.”
The news comes as President Donald Trump recently announced that the United States had secured a new deal to go after the Mexican drug cartels in conjunction with the Mexican government.
“All necessary work has been completed to declare Mexican Cartels terrorist organizations,” Trump tweeted late last week. “Statutorily we are ready to do so. However, at the request of a man who I like and respect, and has worked so well with us, President Andres Manuel [López Obrador] we will temporarily hold off this designation and step up our joint efforts to deal decisively with these vicious and ever-growing organizations!”
The announcement from the president came after he had stated in a recent interview that he planned on designating the drug cartels as terrorist organizations.
Multiple government agencies recognized the Sinaloa cartel as the most dominant drug cartel in Mexico, which the DEA noted in its 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment.