Salvador Cienfuegos: Mexico’s ex-defense secretary arrested in US

Former Mexican protection secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the nation’s armed forces for six years below ex-President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport, Mexico’s high diplomat mentioned Thursday.

Overseas Minister Marcelo Ebrard didn’t say on what costs Cienfuegos was detained. He wrote on his Twitter account that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Landau had knowledgeable him of the overall’s arrest.

Ebrard wrote that Mexico’s Consul in Los Angeles can be informing him in regards to the costs “within the subsequent few hours,” and that Cienfuegos had a proper to obtain consular help. He didn’t specify if the overall was arrested on the airport arriving or leaving the nation

Cienfuegos served from 2012 to 2018 as secretary of protection below Peña Nieto. He’s the highest-ranking former Cupboard official arrested for the reason that high Mexican safety official Genaro Garcia Luna was arrested in Texas in 2019. Garcia Luna, who served below former President Felipe Calderón, has pleaded not responsible to drug trafficking costs.

Cienfuegos is 72 years outdated and has retired from lively responsibility. Mexico’s Protection Division had no quick response to the arrest.

Regardless of the costs, it is going to be a troublesome blow for Mexico the place the military and navy are a few of the few remaining revered public establishments.

Whereas present President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has vowed to go after corruption and lawbreaking below previous administrations, he has additionally relied extra closely on the military — and charged it with extra duties, starting from constructing infrastructure initiatives to distributing medical provides — than another president in latest historical past.

Underneath Cienfuegos, the Mexican military was accused of frequent human rights abuses, however that was true of each his predecessors and his successor within the submit.

The worst scandal in Cienfuegos’ tenure concerned the 2014 military killings of suspects in a grain warehouse.

The June 2014 bloodbath concerned troopers who killed 22 suspects on the warehouse within the city of Tlatlaya. Whereas some died in an preliminary shootout with the military patrol — wherein one soldier was wounded — a human rights investigation later confirmed that no less than eight and maybe as many as a dozen suspects have been executed after they surrendered.

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