Saturday, December 2, 2023

Police arrest Puebla lawmaker after finding arsenal in her home

A Puebla lawmaker was arrested on Wednesday in possession of a collection of weapons, including at least one semi-automatic machine gun and grenades.

Sandra Nelly Cadena Santos, a Morena party deputy in the state Congress, was detained by police in her home in Tecamachalco, a town 70 kilometers southeast of Puebla city. Her husband, a former Federal Police officer, was also taken into custody.

The Puebla Attorney General’s Office (FGE) announced on Twitter that it had raided the home of Cadena and Jesús Portilla and seized long and short firearms as well as grenades — whose legal use is limited to the army. One of the weapons is a semi-automatic machine gun made by the United States gun maker Barrett Firearms Manufacturing.

Puebla Governor Miguel Barbosa, who also represents Morena, told a press conference that it was an open secret in Tecamachalco that Cadena and Portilla were selling weapons.

“They weren’t using them for target practice. They were for sale; a homeowner doesn’t buy a Barrett,” he said Thursday.

weapons confiscated at Sandra Nelly Cadena Santos' home
Some of the weapons authorities confiscated at Morena Deputy Sandra Nelly Cadena’s home.

“… They presumably dedicated themselves to the sale of the most powerful caliber weapons. Now we have to see who supplied them, it’s a whole chain,” Barbosa said, adding that the investigation into Cadena’s alleged criminal activities was not new.

Cadena, who was formerly the secretary-general of the Tecamachalco municipal government, and Portilla, who was dismissed from the now-defunct Federal Police for “disloyal practices,” were taken to FGE offices near Puebla city after their arrest. A date has not yet been set for their appearance in court.

The newspaper El Financiero reported that the weapons were confiscated and turned over to the Defense Ministry (Sedena) and then eventually taken to a military facility in México state where they were destroyed.

With reports from Reforma and El País 

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