US justice denies bail to former Mexican minister

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The Los Angeles Federal Court has denied bail to the former Defense Minister of Mexico, Salvador Cienfuegos, who is accused of drug trafficking and money laundering crimes, for which he must remain in prison during the judicial process against him.

The defense had requested in court the bail from Cienfuegos for $ 750,000 (more than 634,000 euros). His lawyer, Duane Lyons, has maintained that they are the former minister’s “life savings” and has denied that he wants to flee to Mexico, since he seeks to “wash his image.”

Transfer to New York

In addition, Lyons has pointed out that staying in prison carries the risk for Cienfuegos of catching the COVID-19 and he recalled that he is 72 years old, which is why he is within the group classified as vulnerable to the disease, as reported by the newspaper ‘El Universal’.

Likewise, the judge in charge of the case, Alexander MacKinnon, has announced that this Friday he will sign an order to move Cienfuegos to New York. The transfer will take place in a period of two to three weeks.

Help drug traffickers

The Department of Justice of the United States, has accused Cienfuegos of protecting a cell of the well-known Beltrán Leyva Cartel. According to the accusation, during Enrique Peña Nieto’s six-year term, whoever was his Defense Minister would have been receiving bribes from the H-2 cartel, led by Juan Francisco Patron Sánchez, in exchange for supporting said organization.

This is the first time in the history of Mexico that a former defense minister has been arrested for his alleged relationship with criminal groups linked to the drug trafficking, either on US soil or on Mexican soil.

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