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In exchange for multi-million dollar bribes, Genaro García Luna, allegedly allowed the Sinaloa cartel to operate with impunity in Mexico.
The former Mexican Head of Public Security was arrested in the United States this week after he was accused of conspiring to smuggle cocaine and accepting multi-million dollar bribes to protect jailed drug trafficker Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman of the Sinaloa cartel.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Genaro Garcia Luna, who served as head of security from 2006 to 2012, was arrested Monday in Dallas.
One of the main architects of the Mexican government's attack on cartels during former President Felipe Calderón's term, he is currently charged with three counts of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and one count of making false statements.
In a statement, New York East District Attorney Richard Donoghue said that "in exchange for multimillion-dollar bribes, the accused allegedly allowed the Sinaloa cartel to operate with impunity in Mexico.
His office also prosecuted Guzmán, who was convicted on 10 counts in February and sentenced in July to life in prison.
Mr. Garcia Luna, who has denied such accusations in the past, is now the highest-profile former Mexican official charged with drug crimes.
The process also begins at a time when Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has pledged to eradicate corruption in the government and is pushing for a series of national drug protection measures.
International Anti-Corruption Day. Morning conference.
The prosecutor's statement, revealed in a Brooklyn court on Tuesday, has been very clear, Mr. Garcia Luna accepted bribes while serving in high-ranking positions in the Mexican government between 2001 and 2012, first as head of Mexico's Federal Bureau of Investigation and then as secretary of public safety.
He later moved to the United States, having accumulated a "personal fortune of millions of dollars," the prosecution said.
According to the judicial body, the bribes allowed the Sinaloa cartel to obtain a safe passage for its drug shipments, as well as intelligence on investigations into its activities and those of rival cartels, U.S. authorities said.