Government officials of Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, assured that the framework of operation in Mexico of the DEA, the FBI, the CIA, ICE and other U.S. agencies will be restricted, given the loss of trust in the United States in cooperation on security issues and combating drug trafficking, motivated by the release of former General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda.
The fact that the U.S. Department of Justice did not share with the AMLO government that the former Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) was under investigation under the so-called Padrino operation, generated discontent for the bilateral relationship.
«Following the arrest of General Cienfuegos at the Airport in Los Angeles and the convey of our position, the Attorney General, William Barr, proposed to go to Mexico for a meeting, but we said it wasn’t the time. Barr did not expect a refusal to travel to Mexico City,» an anonymous official revealed to a major Mexican magazine.
The bother of the AMLO government over the arrest of Cienfuegos, accused by the DEA of drug trafficking and money laundering, in October 15 was communicated to Barr the day after the capture.
«Barr spoke of going to Mexico accompanied by the (interim) administrator of the DEA, Timothy Shea, and the response of the government of President López Obrador was that they wait until their presidential elections (on November 3) concluded,» the official explained.
However, Joe Biden’s triumph over current President Donald Trump buried Barr’s request to travel to meet with the Attorney General of the Republic, Alejandro Gertz Manero, and with the Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard.
Another senior official from the circle of advisers to Mexican President said that the resignation to prosecute General Cienfuegos in New York was almost immediate after they informed the Department of Justice that relations with the DEA and with all other intelligence and security agencies working in Mexico would change.
According to Reuters, the price of returning General Cienfuegos without drug trafficking charges was to arrest a top-level drug lord who would be responsible for the shipment of fentanyl to the United States, so that with greater pressure, they are in the sights of leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada García; and the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes.
As stated by an anonymous source consulted by the news agency, Mexico allegedly promised the U.S. to arrest the high-level leader involved in the massive trafficking of the synthetic opioid aforementioned. In return, the charges against whoever was the head of the Ministry of National Defense would be dismissed.
Meanwhile, the DEA agents who made the case were furious at the release of Cienfuegos. For several years they followed the trail of a military figure nicknamed «El Padrino» by members of the H-2 Cartel, a remnant of Los Beltrán Leyva.
After intervening a call where a capo alluded to the fact that «El Padrino» was on television, they were able to conclude that it was the same general, who has pleaded not guilty to four charges related to drug trafficking.