Avelar, left, and his alleged boss, cartel leader El Mencho. Avelar, left, and his alleged boss, cartel leader El Mencho.

Police arrest judge suspected of taking bribes from Jalisco New Generation Cartel

He acquitted the cartel boss's son of criminal charges three years ago

A judge suspected of being on the payroll of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) was arrested in Guadalajara on Friday.

Isidro Avelar Gutiérrrez, 59, is accused of receiving bribes from the CJNG in return for favorable treatment in the courts. The Federal Judiciary Council (CJF) suspended the judge from his post in May after a complaint was filed against him for irregularities in his assets and income.

Avelar is being held in the Altiplano maximum security prison until his court hearing on Friday, November 29.

“With results, we continue to demonstrate the policy of zero tolerance for corruption,” said the head of the Supreme Court (SCJN), Arturo Zaldívar. “[We are] building a solid and trustworthy [federal judiciary power] that benefits the people.”

Avelar was designated and sanctioned under the Kingpin Act by the United States Treasury Department in May for his ties to the CJNG and its financial arm, Los Cuinis. It alleged the judge had accepted bribes from the organizations “in exchange for providing favorable judicial rulings to their senior members.”

He acquitted Nemesio “El Menchito” Oseguera González, son of the cartel’s founder, of charges of organized crime and money laundering in 2016.

The U.S. government considers the CJNG to be one of the five most dangerous transnational criminal organizations in the world due to its involvement in the trafficking of cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl to the United States and its violent actions in Mexico.

“Officials such as Isidro Avelar Gutiérrez . . . callously enrich themselves at the cost of their fellow citizens,” the Treasury Department said in May. It also sanctioned the ex-governor of Nayarit, Roberto Sandoval for alleged corruption involving the same cartel.

The arrest is part of President López Obrador’s commitment to rid the judiciary of corrupt judges.

Sources: El Universal (sp), Milenio (sp), Yahoo! News (en)

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