Monday, June 24, 2024

Ex-attorney general denies accepting bribes from Colombian narco

More testimony of wrongdoing by former high-ranking officials in the Mexican government has emerged in the trial against former Sinaloa Cartel capo Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán in New York.

Ignacio Morales Lechuga is the latest ex-politician to be implicated after Colombian drug trafficker and witness Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa declared that he had been on his payroll.

Morales is now a notary public in Mexico City but was the federal attorney general between 1991 and 1993 in the latter years of president Carlos Salinas de Gortari’s administration.

In his deposition, Cifuentes declared that he had bribed attorneys general in Mexico along with 70 Federal Police who protected his drug trafficking operations in the country.

Cifuentes, who used to be the principal supplier of cocaine to the Sinaloa Cartel, added that the officials on his payroll did not know they were employed by him because they dealt with a front man.

Morales declared the accusations were “completely false and defamatory.”

He has asked the federal Attorney General’s office to request a certified copy of the witness’s statement from the government of the United States.

Cifuentes told the court that his front man, Juan de Dios Rodríguez Valladares, operated the warehouse where the cocaine was stored in Mexico City. But things turned sour after the Colombian suspected Rodríguez of stealing their product and the latter attempted to kill Cifuentes.

The Colombian paid two police officers US $500,000 to apprehend Rodríguez and turn him over to the cartel. He was subsequently stabbed to death.

Guzmán’s trial was told at the start that the Sinaloa Cartel had bribed ex-presidents Enrique Peña Nieto and Felipe Calderón. Several other former officials have been identified by witnesses as having accepted cartel payoffs.

Source: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp)

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