The US government dropped the charges against Salvador Cienfuegos, former secretary of National Defense, and later handed him over to the Mexican government without there being any type of condition to do soThe United States Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau, reported on Thursday.
“It is important to highlight that we returned General Cienfuegos unconditionally, because the (ex) prosecutor (William Barr) reviewed the whole case and he decided that it was really up to Mexico to investigate this case in the first place”, He said during a meeting with the media six days after leaving office.
The diplomat blamed to a bureaucratic problem the controversy of the Cienfuegos case, where the former Secretary of National Defense was arrested in Los Angeles without the US government ever notifying the Mexican government that there was an investigation against him.
“Both countries are large and we have large governments, large bureaucracies, with many different components, which, sometimes they don’t communicate as they should with each other. Frankly, that was the case here, with General Cienfuegos, on our side (…) they are very big bureaucracies and from time to time there will be misunderstandings between the same government or between our governments, ”he said.
He recalled that the lawsuit against Cienfuegos was filed in a sealed manner in a New York court two days before he assumed his diplomatic mission in August 2019, soWhen he found out there was nothing to do about the legal provisions of his country that forced him to keep everything secret.
“(…) it is a secret subject under our law, so, chen I arrived we were in a position where it was too late to share this”, He elaborated on the matter.
Some prosecutors do not understand its repercussions at the international level
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Landau regretted that on many occasions the prosecutors in his country are not aware of the repercussions that their actions may have. on the international stage, in a case as delicate as that of Cienfuegos himself, for example.
“Prosecutors in our country are authorities who, really, do not have all the knowledge of the entire international framework and do not necessarily understand all the repercussions of their decisions,” he explained.
He called on both governments to learn what they can do differently to ensure that something similar does not happen again: “we have to find ways to prevent this type of misunderstanding to focus all our efforts on fighting crime.”
He insisted that both Mexico and the United States have no alternative but to continue focusing their joint efforts against organized crime, “Because as long as we continue like this, fighting with each other, the criminals will continue to grow stronger.”
Finally, he showed his disappointment at a scenario in which his experience as a diplomat has become repetitive in security tasks on a bilateral basis.
“It frustrates me a lot, because despite everything we doIt always seems that we get to the same point where we left the United States and Mexico always blaming each other. And that’s where the drug traffickers, organized criminals, and meanwhile, we always scold each other, “he said.