Former Mexican drug czar on trial for drug trafficking in US

Genaro Garcia Luna, then Mexican Minister of Public Security, in 2012, in Mexico City.

The Mexican Minister of Public Security from 2006 to 2012, Genaro Garcia Luna, he helped to make his country a narco-state? Long awaited in Mexico, the second hearing of his trial, scheduled for Wednesday, October 7 in New York, should detail the overwhelming evidence against the former “czar” of the fight against drugs, accused of having protected the powerful cartel of Sinaloa, for a fee. The case threatens the former Mexican president, Felipe Calderon, who had entrusted him with the reins of his war against drug trafficking.

Around 189,000 supporting documents, telephone tapping, testimonies from drug traffickers, a millionaire standard of living… Mr. Garcia Luna is targeted by four charges, including three for corruption and organized crime. The 52-year-old “super-cop” faces a sentence ranging from ten years in prison to life imprisonment. The judge of the court of Brooklyn, Brian Cogan, is the same who had sentenced, in July 2019 to life imprisonment, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, former head of the Sinaloa cartel, arrested three years earlier in Mexico, then extradited to the United States. During his trial, Jesus “El Rey” Zambada, brother of one of the principal associates of “El Chapo”, had revealed to have given to Mr. Garcia Luna, in 2005 and 2007, cases containing 3 and 5 million dollars (2.5 and 4.2 million euros) to guarantee the impunity of his cartel. The accused allegedly allowed the passage of at least five shipments of cocaine, between 2002 and 2007, bound for the United States.

“Thanks to its support, the organization [de Sinaloa] maintained its activities without significant intervention by the authorities ”, accused the US Department of Justice on December 10, 2019, the day after his arrest in Dallas. Four years earlier, a simple fine for a red light burned in Miami had led the American authorities on his trail. Mr. Garcia Luna had given the police the address of a luxurious residence, valued at 3.3 million dollars, where he was domiciled with his wife after leaving, at the end of 2012, his duties in Mexico. A standard of living much higher than that of a former civil servant converted into security consulting.

Cloudy role in the Florence Cassez affair

His trial is like a bomb in Mexico, where the former minister was one of the conductors of the militarization of public security, launched by President Calderon (2006-2012). A strategy contested for having fueled the war of the cartels, between them and against the government, killing nearly 250,000 people for thirteen years. At the time, the low number of arrests of members of the Sinaloa cartel, compared to those of its competitors, was already causing suspicion. Especially since the meteoric career of Mr. Garcia Luna, former member of the Mexican intelligence services (CISEN) who became, from 2001 to 2006, the head of the new federal investigative police (AFI), was already marked by scandals. .

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