Gennaro García Luna: the drug lord who was the chief of police

At the beginning of this century, no one in Mexico or the United States could have guessed where Genaro García Luna would be today: sitting in the chair of the same accused in which Joaquín Guzmán Loera, better known as “El Chapo”, had been warm for months, in the winter between 2018 and 2018. And 2019. It’s not a pictorial spectacle: the trial of García Luna, who was Mexico’s Minister of Security – as well as the Minister of the Interior – begins tomorrow on the same 8th floor, of the same court – the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn – with the same judge – Brian Coogan – who had the famous and bloodthirsty leader of the Sinaloa Cartel. And the most desperate thing for Mexico and the United States and their failed battle against organized crime: He’s responding to accusations of drug trafficking, like “El Chapo.” García Luna, who was arrested in Dallas in 2019, has a lot less to name than El Chapo outside of Mexico — who has more? Americans for decades, with famous escapes from supposedly maximum-security Mexican prisons, with a criminal record aired by Northern Passages, and later finding a global spokesperson in the Netflix series ‘Narcos’. It was pursued four years ago like a TV series by half of the world. Standard Related News No: The violent arrest of El Chapo’s son left 29 dead, including ten agency soldiers, his arrest was a priority of the US Department of Justice, the country facing him with many drug trafficking charges but the arrest, the charges, and now the trial of García Luna shows a well-known fact As heartbreaking as it is: the scourge of drug trafficking and organized crime infiltrates even the highest levels of political power in Mexico. Right-hand man of Felipe Calderon as Minister of the Interior, García Luna was the right-hand man in prosecuting crime during the presidency of Felipe Calderon, who declared “war on drug trafficking” once he came to power. The most senior official was García Luna, a prominent senior police officer who had held the highest responsibilities in the security and intelligence forces. He was the first director of the Federal Investigation Agency – Mexico’s equivalent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – and, as Secretary, designed and created the Federal Police. García Luna, who had a reputation for being stern and ruthless, was the man that the Drug Enforcement Agency – the US Drug Enforcement Agency – relied on to fight cartels and became a global authority on crime fighting: conferences like Mexico’s answer, finally, to the power of drug traffickers. What prosecutors will try to prove as of Monday is that García Luna led a double life: He was the chief of police, but he collaborated with drug traffickers. Specifically, with the Sinaloa Cartel, led by “El Chapo” and other bosses such as Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. According to the indictment, García Luna received tens of millions of dollars from Sinaloa bosses. In return, he provided them with protection: giving them information on raids, facilitating the release of their detainees, promoting DEA moves on the ground, and providing intelligence on rival cartels. García Luna with Hillary Clinton in a 2009 Reuters file photo The trial, which will run for the next eight weeks, is set to be full of suspicious revelations that will blunt Mexican politics. Dozens of witnesses will pass through there, many of them drug dealers imprisoned in the United States, who will sing against García Luna in exchange for prison benefits. But it would also be an embarrassment to the United States. Among other strategies, the defense will show photos of the defendant with Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and all the top FBI and DEA officers. “If García Luna was a drug trafficker, how is it possible that Washington didn’t know about it?” He will interrogate his lawyers, who will try to show their client an impeccable businessman – a left-wing politician in 2012 – whom they want to take revenge on Narcos. Political Impact Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador celebrated, “It’s going to be a very good trial,” an apparent reference to the political impact it would have in his country. He wants the entire world to follow him in his country, where García Luna has been in power with the National Action Party, the party that will seek to remove him from the presidency in next year’s elections. But López Obrador does not calculate that he fought with all his might to avoid prosecution in the United States on similar charges against General Salvador Cienfuegos, who was defense minister under Peña Nieto’s presidency. Lopez Obrador dismantled the security forces that worked to combat drug trafficking and entrusted this fight to the army. The leftist president threatened the United States to expel the Drug Enforcement Administration from Mexico if it pressed ahead with the charges against Cienfuegos. García Luna’s future is now in the hands of the jury. If, after hearing the parties, he is found guilty, he can be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of between ten years and life imprisonment. If his sentence is the latter, the trial will be more like that of El Chapo: that is the sentence the drug dealer is serving in a maximum security prison in Colorado.

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