What are the accusations of "Lobo Valencia" against García Luna?
(CNN Spanish) --
(CNN Spanish) --
In the second week of the trial that Genaro García Luna, former Secretary of Public Security of Mexico, faces in New York for drug trafficking, the Prosecutor's Office called a new witness on Monday, Óscar Nava Valencia, alias "Lobo" or "Wolf Valencia".
Nava Valencia, considered by the Mexican authorities as a former leader of the Milenio Cartel, declared that he paid García Luna more than US$ 10 million to obtain greater control and security over the cocaine shipments he was transporting from Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. to import into the United States.
García Luna faces several counts of participation in an ongoing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to obtain, import and distribute thousands of kilograms of cocaine in the US, in addition to allegedly making false statements to US immigration officials.
The former official has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
This Monday, his defense tried to delegitimize the validity of Nava Valencia as a witness.
Another witness in the trial against Genaro García Luna testifies about the alleged complicity of the extinct Federal Police of Mexico with the Sinaloa Cartel
The new witness for the Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said that the first payment he allegedly made to García Luna was in 2006 when he contributed US$2.5 million to a collection made by the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel and other factions for the then Mexican official.
Nava Valencia declared that Arturo Beltrán Leyva and others spoke to him about this payment to have more "control and security."
In exchange, he claimed that they received protection to move drugs and information aimed at attacking their rivals.
Nava Valencia reported that at that time he had a strong rivalry with the "Michoacan Family."
She stated that she had seen García Luna on two occasions.
The first time when they had a problem with a shipment in the port of Manzanillo, Colima, an occasion in which, according to him, the former official would have helped them with information to resolve it, and the second time was when he said that he reached an agreement with García himself. Moon.
In his testimony, Nava Valencia stated that he even bribed federal, state and municipal government officials, as well as highway police and politicians.
She noted that Beltrán Leyva told her that he gave cash to García Luna and other Mexican government officials in exchange for his help and protection.
Witness details alleged meetings with García Luna
Nava Valencia described the two meetings that he claimed to have had with García Luna.
The first in 2007 after the seizure of more than 20 tons of cocaine in the port of Manzanillo, in the Pacific Ocean.
Some 10 tons belonged to "Lobo" and another 10 to Beltrán Leyva, she said.
The cocaine, she pointed out, had been shipped in containers on a ship from Colombia.
The Navy was at the port, Nava Valencia said, when the drugs arrived in Manzanillo and they were going down and checking the containers.
This, he assured, worried Nava Valencia and Beltrán Leyva, who tried to find alternatives to recover the drug, such as exchanging it for another container or hiding it, but they were unsuccessful.
Given this, he assures that Beltrán Leyva told Nava Valencia that he had spoken with "the graduates", referring to García Luna and other senior government officials, and not to worry because everything was going to be handled from the capital.
Beltrán Leyva informed him that they had to pay "the graduates" some US$10 million.
Of them, US$ 5 million in advance and the rest when the containers were released.
They made the down payment.
However, the Navy, with information provided by the US, managed to seize the containers and later found out that the drugs had been incinerated.
A month after the seizure, according to that statement, Arturo Beltrán Leyva summoned several people to a country house near Cuernavaca to talk about what happened in Manzanillo.
Nava Valencia reported that he went with a brother and a partner and that the brothers Arturo and Héctor Beltrán Leyva were on the property, as well as Edgar Valdez Villarreal "La Barbie", as well as security personnel inside and outside the house.
Witness declares that Genaro García Luna would have been kidnapped by Arturo Beltrán Leyva: this was the second day of the trial in the United States.
Lobo said that, while there, several trucks arrived and three people got off.
One of them, according to him, was the then Secretary of Security.
He said that they were on the terrace of the house and that Arturo Beltrán Leyva told him: "Compadre, I present Genaro García Luna." He said that he was dressed in a suit and tie and that he sat next to him.
When speaking about the seizure in Manzanillo, according to Nava Valencia, García Luna pointed out that he could not release the containers because the Colombians alerted the United States government about the drug shipment that came from that country, and that they were already working with the Navy. .
He said that García Luna promised to send them the report sent from Colombia on that shipment.
The second meeting with García Luna, Nava Valencia said, would have happened in 2008 after the arrest of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva and the war that broke out between the Sinaloa cartels and the Beltrán Leyva cartels.
Mistrust began to grow and Arturo Beltrán Leyva had said that whoever was not with him was against him.
Nava Valencia declared that he was closer to Arturo Beltrán Leyva than to Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, but that relationship broke down after the cartel broke up and because he preferred not to get involved or take sides.
Due to this position, Nava Valencia reported that Arturo Beltrán Leyva had him kidnapped and that he had to pay US$5 million to be released.
After that incident, he ended the relationship with Arturo Beltrán Leyva and decided to ally with El Chapo, "El Mayo Zambada" and "Rey Zambada", among others.
Trial of García Luna recalls the illegal introduction of weapons into Mexico 4:46
For this reason, they were warned that Arturo Beltrán Leyva "was going to give them everything" so they had to make better arrangements.
They knew that as a result of the war, more investigations and operations would be generated against them because the rivals would provide information to the authorities.
Lobo Valencia declared that he later contacted a García Luna collaborator, Luis Cárdenas Palomino, who at that time was working as police intelligence coordinator and who was arrested in Mexico on July 4, 2021 for the alleged commission of the crime of torture. against alleged kidnappers in 2012, to arrange a meeting with García Luna.
In the same case in which García Luna is accused, in 2020 the US Department of Justice accused Cárdenas of three counts of conspiracy to traffic cocaine.
CNN is trying to determine his reaction to witnesses who mention him in the case against García Luna.
To access that meeting, Nava Valencia said he had to pay US$500,000 in advance.
The alleged meeting, Lobo said, took place in Guadalajara in mid-2008, in the second-floor offices of a car wash owned by a friend nicknamed "Pilo."
Lobo says that he saw the then secretary arrive, again in a suit, with Cárdenas Palomino.
He said that at that meeting García Luna asked for US$3 million and that they paid him at that time US$2.5 million to complete the US$500,000 that they had already given him in advance.
Nava Valencia declared that García Luna assured him that he was on his side and that from that moment on he would have intermediaries available so that he could communicate with him for anything.
Nava Valencia was arrested in October 2009 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, and sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2014 by a federal judge in Houston, Texas, for participating in an attempt to smuggle more than three tons of cocaine from Panama to the US. USA
He admitted that he imported more than 100 kilos of cocaine into the US and that he was involved in several acts of violence as the leader of the cartel, including giving the order to kill more than 100 people.
The defense's turn
For his part, García Luna's lawyer attacked the credibility of Nava Valencia as a witness.
Florián Miedel reminded Nava Valencia, and he confirmed it, that after being extradited to the United States in 2011, he began to cooperate with the government and had dozens of meetings with prosecutors and other officials to provide them with information.
Nava Valencia, alias "Lobo", admitted to the defender that in those meetings he never mentioned the name of Genaro García Luna before 2020.
And that it was only after his arrest that he began to talk about the payments that they supposedly gave him.
Nava Valencia also acknowledged that in those interrogations with the US authorities prior to 2020, he had not mentioned the name of Luis Cárdenas Palomino either.
Even, according to the defense attorney, in 2013 they showed her a photo of Cárdenas Palomino and she admitted that she did not recognize him.
They select the jury for the trial against Genaro García Luna and the ruling reveals the names of some witnesses
Nava Valencia responded that in those meetings in which he began to cooperate with the US government, the issue of corruption was not dealt with in depth but superficially.
However, the defense attorney reminded him that during those sessions he named other allegedly corrupt officials and police officers, including then-Mexico Defense Secretary Guillermo Galván Galván, who had allegedly been bribed to release drug trafficker Mario Acosta, alias "Chaparro." .
Nava Valencia also admitted that on December 14, 2022, during another meeting with US prosecutors, he said that he had lied before and that he had never met García Luna.
Then the witness explained that she retracted her previous statements out of fear.
She said that she was afraid for her family in Mexico if she testified again and she did not want to get "into the eye of the hurricane" again.
Lobo Valencia said he had previously been threatened in Mexico and that there had been attacks against his family.
In his arguments against the credibility of the witness, García Luna's defense attorney also highlighted the criminal record of Nava Valencia, who he said had ordered the killing of hundreds of people, tortured alleged members of other cartels, and directly participated in acts of torture.
In addition, the lawyer reiterated that under his cooperation agreement Nava Valencia received a reduction of his original sentence of 25 years in prison to 16 and a half years and that he could receive another reduction in his sentence for testifying in this trial.
Sinaloa Cartel Genaro García Luna