Former president Felipe Calderón was aware of his security secretary’s complicity with the Sinaloa Cartel and an accomplice himself to organized crime, claims an ex-regional commissioner of the Federal Police.
“Calderón shouldn’t be surprised that they’re trying his accomplice in another country,” Javier Herrera Valles said Friday in reference to Genaro García Luna, who was arrested in the United States on Monday on charges that he allowed the Sinaloa Cartel to operate in exchange for multimillion-dollar bribes.
“. . . He [Calderón] definitely had knowledge [of García’s criminality] and I hope that he faces up to his responsibility and the Mexican people for the betrayal he committed as president by also being involved in organized crime himself,” he said in an interview with journalist Carmen Aristegui.
Following García’s arrest in Dallas, Texas, Calderón posted a statement to Twitter in which he denied any knowledge of García’s alleged collusion with the Sinaloa Cartel and said that he was “deeply” surprised by his arrest.
Asked to respond to the statement, Herrera asserted that “Felipe Calderón had knowledge of all the accusations” faced by García, which included the fact that he provided security to the Sinaloa Cartel that allowed it to move drugs to the northern border and supplied confidential information about government investigations and other criminal organizations.
The ex-president was aware of “all the arbitrary actions” his security secretary was committing, he added.
“It’s a shame that he comes out and makes these declarations [to the contrary] . . .” Herrera said.
The former police commissioner wrote to Calderón on two occasions in 2008 to alert him to a range of irregularities within the Federal Police under García’s leadership.
In one of the letters, Herrera claimed that the security secretary had installed officers in the Federal Police with whom he had previously collaborated at the now-defunct Federal Investigation Agency to commit crimes including drug-trafficking and homicide.
In that way, García created his own cartel, the ex-commissioner asserted in today’s interview.
“Genaro’s cartel started to attack the other cartels, they [the latter] started to recruit common criminals to use as lookouts, they started recruiting, growing excessively – extreme violence originates as a result of that, the others swelled their ranks to respond to that violence.”
In November 2008, Herrera was arrested on drug trafficking charges and spent four years in prison before he was absolved of the crime.
He told Aristegui that he held Calderón directly responsible for detaining him for a crime that he didn’t commit. The “hit” came “directly from the president,” Herrera said. “It was he who took me down.”
Meanwhile, President López Obrador warned on Friday that anyone in his government found to have collaborated with García in the Calderón administration will be dismissed.
He told reporters at his morning news conference that he had given instructions for a government-wide investigation to determine whether any members of the former security secretary’s team were serving in his administration.
“. . . If they passed through [the governments of] Calderón and Peña [Nieto] to us . . . they’re gone! We arrived here to change things and . . . corruption isn’t tolerated, not even in my family!” López Obrador said.
The president renewed his attack on the confrontational security policy implemented by Calderón and perpetuated by Peña Nieto, asserting that it is the cause of the high levels of violence Mexico is suffering today.
“We’re experiencing a very difficult moment in security because the policy at the start of 2007 was mistaken. What that policy caused was an escalation [of violence], disappearances, murders . . . corruption, everything! We’ve inherited that,” López Obrador said, adding that the arrest of García was indicative of the gravity of the security problems past government have passed on.