The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

An ex-narco assures in the trial against García Luna that he bought "real visas" at a US consulate in Mexico


The testimony of Harold "El Conejo" Poveda Ortega, who was one of the largest cocaine suppliers of the Sinaloa Cartel, puts the magnifying glass on the possible reach of the drug dealer's arm in the Washington government offices abroad.

They were leaders of one of the most powerful cartels in Mexico a decade ago, but they were jailed, they made deals with US authorities, and now they take the stage to describe (and flaunt) the freedom and benefits with which they that they operated thanks to the bribes that they would have paid to the ex-secretary Genaro García Luna.

These advantages ranged from having the largest air terminal in Mexico at their disposal to move drug shipments, with just an order, and also being informed in advance about searches by anti-drug agents. 


El Conejo

Poveda Ortega, one of the largest cocaine suppliers to the Sinaloa Cartel, added another piece of information this Thursday before the jury in federal court in New York: he said that he paid for authentic visas "at the US consulate in Mexico."


They were real visas


El Conejo

said when asked by Genaro García Luna's lawyer, Cesar De Castro, in the trial against the former Secretary of Public Security, the former highest-ranking Mexican official to be tried in the United States, accused of having ties to drug trafficking.

Former drug lord Harold 'El Conejo' Poveda Ortega has claimed in federal court in Brooklyn that he bought US visas and that it was common for Mexican drug traffickers to have multiple passports in the 2000s. Brent Lewis/Denver Post via Getty Images

The testimony about the alleged purchase of US visas at the US Consulate in Mexico puts the magnifying glass on the possible reach of the narco's arm in Washington government offices abroad.

El Conejo

, born in Valle del Cauca, Colombia, recounted that episode while giving color details about his activities within the cartel, although he reiterated that he never met García Luna personally, nor did he give him money directly, a point that the defense emphasized to discredit him. As a Witness.

His testimony of the cash payments to the former official is based, he said, on what he heard from Arturo Beltrán Leyva, head of the criminal organization. 

[A former agent alleges in the trial against García Luna that they received orders to turn a blind eye at an airport]

The witness for the Prosecutor's Office

did not offer more details about the US visas nor did he specify which consulate he bought

them from or who he would have paid in exchange for them.

In Mexico there are nine consulates of the United States.

It was also not clear if the "purchase" was illegal or if he paid for a regular process.

Obtaining a US visa in Mexico is a complex process that may require interviews, background checks, and the submission of multiple documents, depending on the type of visa.

There are some stamps for entrepreneurs and investors for which certain fees are paid, such as the E-2 visa, for foreigners who have investments in the United States.

El Conejo

also testified this Thursday that at some point he had more than

five false identities and irregular passports

from Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico.

"We all went around with false credentials, it was normal (...) and more if you know someone who has arrangements with the police," he said.

For the first time, a Mexican ex-policeman testified in the trial against García Luna and he was implicated in this

Jan 31, 202300:39

Poveda Ortega had already flaunted the alleged freedoms of drug traffickers in the 2000s, when García Luna was

Mexico's drug

czar .

On his first day of testimony, he recounted the ease with which the drug trafficker moved through the corridors and terminals of the Mexico City airport, which for years was one of the main transit ports for cocaine and cash.

El Conejo

said that, on one occasion when he traveled from Mexico to Colombia, drug lord Jesús

El Rey

Zambada took him to the airport and put him in contact with federal police agents there so that they could pass him through without doing

any immigration or customs procedures.


The King

took me to the airport, he recommended me to some police officers”, he assured.

"They grabbed a small suitcase that I was carrying and walked me to the door of the plane."

"No paperwork was done (...) she was a beauty," Poveda told the jury in court. 

Although the luxuries of some drug traffickers are known, such as large mansions, travel and their close relationship with politicians and celebrities, it is not usual for it to be made public how they manage their businesses with the consent of the authorities.

[Mexico prepares a new arrest warrant for Genaro García Luna, while the trial continues in New York]

US authorities have offered certain benefits to convicted drug traffickers in exchange for help in sustaining cases against notorious criminals such as Joaquín

El Chapo


Some of the witnesses of the Prosecutor's Office against García Luna are also confessed ex-narcos who were convicted of drug trafficking and money laundering, among other crimes, but they are already free and some even reside legally in the US. 

They reveal that García Luna was kidnapped by Beltrán Leyva in Cuernavaca

Jan 25, 202302:16


El Lobo

Nava Valencia, former leader of the Millennium Cartel, told the jury last Monday that the Beltrán Leyva Sinaloa Cartel paid millions to García Luna to have free rein at the airport in the Mexican capital when they moved drugs.

On several occasions, he assured, they arrived with narcotics from Central American countries and some employees of the air terminal were in charge of moving the cargo.

El Conejo

said that he has met by chance with the drug traffickers Jesús

El Rey

Zambada and Sergio

El Grande

Villarreal while they have been in the custody of the US authorities.

Villareal was considered, he said before, the head of operations at the Mexico City airport.

El Grande

was the first witness summoned by the Prosecutor's Office in the trial against García Luna, and spoke of an alleged friendly and close relationship between the former official and various drug lords.

When he was with the federal police, he said, the former secretary would take time to meet in person with drug leaders and receive "black suitcases full of cash."

García Luna's defense has questioned that an official of his level could have such meetings.

He has also stressed that there is no evidence such as recordings or photos to support his testimony, and that the drug traffickers are taking revenge on the man who persecuted them.

*Ronny Rojas reports from court in New York.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-02-03

You may like

Trends 24h

News/Politics 2023-03-29T17:31:03.491Z
News/Politics 2023-03-29T12:49:05.059Z


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.