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Trial in New York: Bribery by "El Chapo" during term


Genaro García Luna was once security minister in Mexico - and should have played a leading role in the fight against drug trafficking. Instead, he accepted bribes from ex-drug lord El Chapo.

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Court drawing by Genaro García Luna



A jury in New York has found Mexico's former security minister, Genaro García Luna, guilty of accepting millions in bribes from ex-drug lord El Chapo.

A 12-year-old federal jury in Brooklyn unanimously found the 54-year-old guilty on all five counts Tuesday.

They had advised for three days, the process had lasted around four weeks.

The ex-minister's sentence will be determined at a later date.

García Luna faces a life sentence.

Prosecutors had accused García Luna of protecting the notorious Sinaloa cartel's drug smuggling operations.

Defendant's defense, however, claimed that Luna had always had integrity and was now a victim of vengeance by the criminals he worked with the US to put behind bars.

García Luna is the highest-ranking former Mexican government official to stand trial in the United States on drug charges.

He was Mexico's Minister of Public Safety under President Felipe Calderón from 2006 to 2012 - at a time when Mexico was taking a hard line against drug gangs.

From 2001 to 2005, the trained mechanical engineer headed the AFI Federal Police Authority, which has since been dissolved.

García Luna helped the Sinaloa cartel, long run by drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, smuggle at least 53 tons of cocaine into the United States from 2001, according to New York federal prosecutors.

According to prosecutors, García Luna gave drug traffickers tips about law enforcement operations, had members of rival cartels arrested and helped other corrupt officials to influential posts.

He is said to have received millions of dollars in bribes for this.

In order to prove the allegations against the 54-year-old, the public prosecutor presented 26 witnesses.

They included nine Mexicans extradited to the US for drug trafficking who are working with US justice to have their sentences reduced.

García Luna had pleaded not guilty to all five counts.

The former minister, who applied for US citizenship in 2018, was arrested in Texas in December 2019.

He has been in prison ever since.

His trial is taking place in New York, where "El Chapo" was sentenced to life imprisonment after being caught in Mexico and extradited.

He is serving his sentence in a maximum security prison in the US state of Colorado.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2023-02-22

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