Mexico’s former defense minister arrested in the United States

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Former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos has been charged with drug trafficking and money laundering.

Salvador Cienfuegos was Mexico’s Secretary of Defense between 2012 and 2018. Here from 2018. Foto: Daniel Becerril/Reuters/NTB

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard signs Twitter that he was told about the arrest of US Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau.

A spokesman for the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) confirmed to Reuters that they had arrested Cienfuegos.

The news agency AP is informed that he is charged with drug trafficking and money laundering.

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Cienfuegos was Mexico’s Secretary of Defense between 2012 and 2018 under President Enrique Peña Nieto. The 72-year-old, who is retired, was arrested at the airport in Los Angeles when he arrived with his family, according to AP.

Regardless of how the trial ends, it is estimated that the arrest is a severe blow to Mexico. The Armed Forces is considered to be among the public institutions in the country with the least distrust among the population.

Under Cienfuego’s leadership, however, the military was regularly accused of human rights violations. That was also the case before his leadership.

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