Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat Source and KTLA Los Angeles
The former Secretary of
Defense in Mexico, General Salvador Cienfuegos, was detained at California
airport his first hearing was yesterday in Los Angeles
The audience of Salvador
Cienfuegos Zepeda, former head of the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena)
with Enrique Peña Nieto, it barely lasted five minutes, where he heard the
three charges against him related to drug trafficking; His next hearing will be
on Tuesday, October 20, at 1:00 p.m., it is speculated, in New York.
The retired general was
detained the night of this Thursday, October 15 at the California airport, USA,
when he arrived with his family. The arrest warrant was issued by Magistrate
Judge Vera M. Scanlon since August 14, 2019.
Via video, they were read
three counts of conspiracy to the manufacturer, import and distribute drugs, plus a
money laundering charge.
In his appearance, Cienfuegos
Zepeda said he understood the accusations against him, as he confirmed that
he read them in Spanish.
He will remain at the
Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles, California, pending his next
appearance in court. Although his transfer was not resolved at the hearing,
could be taken to New York where his case lies.
The arrest of Cienfuegos is a
tough blow for Mexico, where the army and navy are some of the few remaining
respected public institutions.
Mexico’s current president, Andres
Manuel López Obrador has vowed to go after corruption and lawbreaking under
past administrations, but he has relied more heavily on the army — and given it
more tasks, ranging from building infrastructure projects to distributing
medical supplies — than any other president in recent history.
López Obrador sought Friday to
reassure the country that he still had faith in the armed forces as “pillars of
the Mexican state.” He has invested more responsibility in military leaders
than any president in recent history. While he said the arrest was unfortunate,
it gave him another opportunity to repeat his refrain that corruption is at the
root of Mexico’s most serious problems.
López Obrador draws a bold line
between the degradation of public institutions that occurred under his
predecessors and the transformation he says he is undertaking. For many
Mexicans however, the military has long been seen as the last defense against
the cartels, raising the question of who can be trusted now. Mexico’s defense
ministry had not commented on the arrest.