MEXICO CITY (REUTERS, AFP) – The former defence minister for Mexican ex-president Enrique Pena Nieto, General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, was detained at Los Angeles airport at the request of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), US and Mexican diplomatic sources told Reuters on Thursday (Oct 15).
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter that US Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau informed him of the detention.
“The Consul in Los Angeles will be informing me of the charges in the next few hours. We will offer the consular assistance to which he is entitled. I will keep you posted,”said Ebrard.
The Mexican diplomatic source said Cienfuegos “was detained at Los Angeles airport at the request of the DEA.”
A US diplomatic source confirmed the DEA was behind the capture.
Members of Cienfuegos’ family, traveling with him at the time of the detention, have already been released, said the Mexican source.
Multiple members of Pena Nieto’s Cabinet and party have been implicated in high-level corruption cases, sometimes involving allegations of links to organised crime.
Ex-public security minister Genaro Garcia Luna was arrested in Texas in December 2019 on charges of taking huge bribes to allow the notorious Sinaloa cartel to ship drugs into the US.
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