The mexican general Salvador Cienfuegos, Secretary of National Defense in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested this Thursday in the United States, reported Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.
Cienfuegos was arrested upon arrival at Los Angeles airport (California), confirmed Ebrard on his Twitter account.
“I have been briefed by Ambassador Christopher Landau of the United States that the former secretary of National Defense, Gral. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, has been detained at the Los Angeles Airport, California, “said Ebrard.
They do not clarify the reasons
The information on the capture does not detail the causes or crimes for which General Cienfuegos would be charged. Ebrard confirmed that he will be offered the consular assistance to which you are entitled.
“The Consul General (of Mexico) in Los Angeles will inform me of the charges in the next few hours,” said the head of the Secretary of Foreign Relations (SRE).
General Cienfuegos, a military man since 1964, served as head of National Defense during the government of Peña Nieto, from December 1, 2012 to November 30, 2014. Before being head of the National Defense, Cienfuegos held the position of senior officer of this secretariat during the government of President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012 ).
High ranks stopped
With his arrest, Cienfuegos has become the highest-ranking former official arrested in the United States after the capture of Genaro García Luna, former head of the Public Security Secretariat of Calderón.
García Luna was arrested in December 2019 in Dallas (Texas, USA) on drug trafficking charges and for having received bribes from Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, leader of the Sinaloa cartel, to allow him to operate with impunity in the country.
According to the accusation, between 2001 and 2012, García Luna received this money in exchange for providing protection to the Sinaloa cartel for their drug trafficking activities.
Between 2001 and 2005 García Luna headed the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) of Mexico, which was created in 2001 during the presidency of Vicente Fox, to later become Minister of Public security of Calderón.