“As a Mexican citizen without charges in the United States”: the situation in Cienfuegos upon his return to Mexico, according to Ebrard

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s defense Minister General Salvador Cienfuegos attends an event at a military zone in Mexico City, Mexico September 2, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo/File Photo/File Photo

This Tuesday afternoon, Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, announced at a press conference that General Salvador Cienfuegos will return to Mexico as a Mexican citizen without charges in the United States. The news was released after announcing the agreement between the Attorney General’s Office in Mexico and the United States Attorney General’s Office on the dismissal of the charges against him.

According to a joint statement from the prosecution offices of both countries, the United States Department of Justice made the decision to request the judge “that the criminal charges of the United States against former Secretary Cienfuegos be dismissed, so that he can be investigated and, where appropriate, prosecuted in accordance with Mexican law”.

After the approval of the petition by the judge, the process facing the former secretary will continue under Mexican law. In that sense, Cienfuegos would return to the country in the next few days.

In this regard, the Mexican Foreign Minister stressed the responsibility of the US authorities to return General Salvador Cienfuegos in optimal health conditions. Later You will enter the national territory as a Mexican citizen without charges in the United States, although you will be received by authorities of the Attorney General’s Office, an instance that, according to Ebrard, you have already opened an investigation folder on the case.

Cienfuegos Zepeda was arrested in the city of Los Angeles on October 15, 2020. American authorities He was charged with conspiracy to manufacture, import and distribute narcotics to the United States, as well as money laundering. On November 11, the North American authorities shared with the FGR the evidence collected for the case. Hence, according to the chancellor, the Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation.

Although the statement issued by the Prosecutor’s Offices ensures that the Mexican institution began the investigations from the moment the US authorities made the arrest and the charges known, in the morning conference on October 16, 2020 President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assured that at that time did not exist “no investigation in Mexico against General Cienfuegos that has to do with drug trafficking.”

Marcelo Ebrard at a press conference on the return of Salvador Cienfuegos to Mexico (Photo: Patricia Juárez)

Marcelo Ebrard at a press conference on the return of Salvador Cienfuegos to Mexico (Photo: Patricia Juárez)

Regarding the investigation conducted in Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard said that with the evidence received by the US authorities, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic “has to decide what steps to take. It would no longer be up to the Foreign Ministry to determine that (…) because an investigation has to be carried out, a complete process has to be carried out ”, also He stressed that Mexican law is more guaranteeing than the law of the United States.

In the event that the petition is approved by the judge, the decision of the authorities of both countries to that General Cienfuegos Zepeda can be tried in accordance with Mexican law. One of the arguments put forward by the Chancellor to request the dismissal of the charges in the United States was that the commission of the crimes charged with him was carried out within Mexican territory and should not be tried abroad.

Despite the decision, the United States Department of Justice, in addition to having provided the evidence for the investigation, undertakes to support and support investigations carried out by the Mexican authorities in the case of former secretary Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda.

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