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Former drug cartel-fighting security minister convicted of taking bribes in Mexico

An ex-security minister from Mexico was convicted of accepting huge bribes, allowing drugs to flow through the country and protecting violent drug cartels.

Genaro Garcia Luna was supposed to fight drug cartels but instead he allowed cops to tip traffickers about forthcoming raids. This ensured that cocaine could freely pass through the country and he also conspired with cartels in order to raid rivals.

Luna, 54, denied the allegations. He was head Mexico‘s Federal Police and was then its top public safety official between 2006 and 2012. In 2019, he was arrested.

A three-day trial by an anonymous jury took place before a verdict was reached. Luna was convicted of continuing criminal enterprise and faces a possible 20-year sentence.


His sentencing will take place on 27 June.

He is currently the highest-ranking Mexican or former official to ever be tried in the US.

Throughout the trial, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (current Mexican President) fought Felipe Calderon’s administration, which, at minimum, put Luna in charge Mexico’s security.

Continue reading: 29 people were killed during the capture of El Chapo’s son.

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Luna’s work brought him into contact with high-ranking American politicians, who saw him as a key partner in the fight against cartels. Washington launched a $1.6bn (PS1.3bn), push to strengthen Mexican law enforcement.

Despite long-standing suspicions regarding Luna, the US have never been accused of wrongdoing.

Unsettling glimpses into the world of drugs

Luna did not testify at the trial. However, many ex-smugglers, former Mexican officials, testified that they saw him meet major traffickers, take cartel cash in large amounts, and then keep law enforcement away.

There were glimpses into the violence of drug cartels, including Luna’s abduction and stories about drug-world rivals being dismembered and skinned from bridges while cartel factions fought for police protection.

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January: Gunfights following El Chapo son’s arrest

Luna’s lawyers claimed that the charges were based upon lies by criminals who wanted punishment for his drug-fighting efforts in return for sentence breaks.

In an apparent attempt to present their assets in Mexico as legitimately acquired, upper-middle and not extravagant, his wife also stood.

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In Mexico, the former secretary is also facing various arrest warrants and charges related to a botched US investigation (known as the “Fast and Furious”) into suspicions that guns were illegally being transported from the US to Mexican drug cartels.

Luna, his associates and business owners in Florida have been sued by the Mexican government. They seek to recover $700m (PS578m), which Mexico claims he accumulated through corruption.


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