Mexico's Ex-Security Minister Convicted of Drug Trafficking
After a four-week trial, Mexico's ex-security minister Genaro García Luna on Tuesday was convicted by a New York jury of drug trafficking and taking millions of dollars from Mexico's biggest crime group, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's Sinaloa drug cartel.
- After a four-week trial, Mexico's ex-security minister Genaro García Luna on Tuesday was convicted by a New York jury of drug trafficking and taking millions of dollars from Mexico's biggest crime group, Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's Sinaloa drug cartel.
- García Luna served as the public security minister under Felipe Calderón's presidency from 2006 to 2012, which put him in charge of fighting Mexican drug cartels. He was arrested in 2019 in Texas and had pleaded not guilty.
- Prosecutors argued that he accepted millions from the cartel in exchange for helping them smuggle narcotics into the US, including tipping them off to police operations, arresting rival cartel members, and appointing other corrupt officials to positions of power.
- This comes after a witness in El Chapo's 2019 trial testified that he bribed former Mexican Pres. Enrique Peña Nieto $100M, with Mexican Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos having also faced allegations of corruption, though US charges against him were dropped in 2020.
- Meanwhile, the defense criticized the prosecutors, saying they used unreliable witnesses — many of whom were themselves convicted of drug trafficking — seeking revenge or leniency.
- After moving his family to Florida in 2012, García Luna allegedly applied for naturalization in 2018 by lying about his past criminal acts. Now, facing five convictions, including international cocaine distribution conspiracy, he faces between 20 years and life in prison.
Sources: BBC News, Reuters, Le Monde.fr, Daily Caller, Wall Street Journal, and CNN.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Wall Street Journal. This verdict shows just how high up the corruption went under Felipe Calderón's presidency, as it's scandalous that a US jury could convict Mexico’s Former drug czar on charges of aiding the Sinaloa drug cartel. US officials have for years complained about the difficulty of knowing who to trust and share information with inside the Mexican government. Now, that distrust has been proven justified.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by ProPublica. While US attorneys pat themselves on the back for this conviction, what should be investigated more is what US officials knew about this corruption throughout the years. García Luna worked closely with the US government dating back to the Bill Clinton presidency, during which his corruption was carelessly — or more cynically, deliberately — unnoticed. This shouldn't just be a Mexican story but a conviction of US negligence, too.