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News Article

Report on Cienfuegos Case / General to Return a Free Man

By Ricardo Guzman | Wed, 11/18/2020 - 10:55

Nothing to hide in Cienfuegos’ liberation. There is no impunity in the agreement reached with the US government on the liberation of former Minister of National Defense (Sedena) Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, President López Obrador said. “I want to thank the government of the United States that knew how to listen to us and rectify. This does not mean impunity, it means that an investigation starts, after they send us all the evidence,” he said about yesterday’s announcement that Cienfuegos would be released after being arrested last Oct. 16 in Los Angeles. He was being investigated for alleged links to drug cartels. The president said that there will be no impunity for anyone, but at the same time he will not allow any Mexican, whoever he is, to face an unfair investigation. López Obrador noted that if Cienfuegos is found to be guilty then he will be prosecuted by the Mexican authorities.

Defends armed forces. The case involving former Minister of National Defense (Sedena) Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos does not taint the Mexican armed forces, President López Obrador said. “The prestige of a fundamental institution for the Mexican state is involved, which is the Ministry of National Defense, the armed forces. I have said it since the start (of the investigation), the conduct of one single officer, regardless of how important he may be, can’t taint an entire institution,” he said. The president noted that no-one can be accused without support or evidence and ruled out any wrongdoing on the part of the government. “We are not giving anything in return, we do not establish commitments that affect our principles,” he said.

Back in Mexico as a free man. Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard said that Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos will be transferred to Mexico as a free citizen. “If (the judge) agrees in that sense, what proceeds is that Gen. Cienfuegos will be transferred to Mexico, but not under arrest since charges have been dismissed, but as a Mexican citizen repatriated to our country,” he said. Ebrard praised the US judge’s decision and said that Cienfuegos would be transferred to Mexico by US Marshalls. “This is very important. He was released in New York and is coming to Mexico, so the law can be applied here. An investigation is being carried out. The Attorney General (FGR) will make a decision and there is no conflict,” he said.

Laments poor bilateral cooperation. Minister Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard said that US Attorney General William Barr was supportive throughout the whole Cienfuegos case and has full trust in Mexico’s institutions, but he also highlighted that bilateral cooperation must prevail. “When there are elements of information regarding officials of another government, this information must be shared. This has never happened, ever,” he said after the US government decided not to report on the investigation into Cienfuegos to its Mexican counterparts. Ebrard pointed out that for bilateral cooperation, respect must always prevail. “If we are going to maintain cooperation, we must have respect,” he said.

 

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Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor