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News > Mexico

AMLO Accuses DEA of Staging Evidence Against General Cienfuegos

  • In his daily morning press conference, the Mexican president accused the DEA of fabricating evidence against General Salvador Cienfuegos.

    In his daily morning press conference, the Mexican president accused the DEA of fabricating evidence against General Salvador Cienfuegos. | Photo: Twitter/@AristeguiOnline

Published 15 January 2021

The Mexican president also endorsed the Mexican Attorney General's Office's decision not to prosecute the former Defense Minister, who was detained in the U.S.

On Friday, Mexico's President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, endorsed the decision of his country's Attorney General's Office to exonerate former Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos and accused the U.S. DEA of fabricating evidence against him.

In the usual morning press conference, the Mexican president said that "yesterday the Attorney General's Office decided that the accusation made against General Cienfuegos by the U.S. agency in charge of fighting drugs, by the DEA, does not proceed" and specified that "the government that I represent seconds, endorses and supports" the decision of the FGR, which was made known the day before.


Mexico Drops Charges Against Ex-Army Chief Cienfuegos

General Cienfuegos, head of the Mexican Army during the mandate of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), was detained on October 15 in Los Angeles (United States) after an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which accused him of links to organized crime and money laundering. Still, after a diplomatic exercise, he returned to Mexico to be investigated by local authorities.

On January 14, the FGR informed through a bulletin that no criminal action was being taken against Salvador Cienfuegos because "no evidence was found" linking him to criminal groups, nor were any irregularities detected in his assets, among other points.

"After analyzing the evidence sent by U.S. authorities and those provided by General Salvador Cienfuegos, the FGR concluded that he did not meet or communicate with any criminal group. Therefore, it was determined that no criminal action would be taken."

Following the Attorney General's Office's decision, López Obrador remarked on more than one occasion at the press conference that the "evidence" presented by the DEA "has no probative value" to prosecute Cienfuegos.

"We maintain that impunity, and certainly corruption, must end. But also that there cannot be reprisals, revenge, and that crimes cannot be invented, that no one should act in this way," the Mexican president stressed.

The president stressed that there would be "full transparency" to avoid criticism and assured that the case file would soon be disclosed.

The decision of the FGR coincides with the publication this Thursday by the Mexican government of the rules to limit the work of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and other foreign security agents after a month of the reform of the National Security Law.

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