The decision of the US Department of Justice comes after Mexico complained about not being notified of the investigation against Cienfuegos.
The United States Department of Justice announced that it is seeking the dismissal of the criminal charges against Salvador Cienfuegos, former secretary of National Defense of Mexico.
With this, he indicated, it will provide an opportunity for the former military command to be investigated under Mexican law.
The US Justice Department said it made the decision to request the dismissal of the charges after Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) launched its own investigation against Cienfuegos and has provided the country with evidence on the case and “He promised to continue cooperating” with the Mexican investigations.
“Our two countries remain committed to cooperation on this matter, as well as to all of our bilateral law enforcement cooperation,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
Cienfuegos, Secretary of Defense between 2012 and 2018, was apprehended in October at the main airport in Los Angeles accused of bribes in exchange for protection of drug traffickers and other crimes, after an operation that was not shared with Mexican authorities.
The capture of the former official shocked the Mexican military establishment and strained diplomatic ties with the United States, especially security cooperation that had tightened in the last 30 years.
The government of Mexico even sent a diplomatic note to the administration of Donald Trump to disagree with how the arrest was carried out.
In addition, calls were made between Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard and US Attorney General William Barr to discuss bilateral cooperation.
The transfer of Cienfuegos to Mexico will be out of respect for the country and the Armed Forces
Foreign Minister Ebrard explained that Cienfuegos will be tried under the laws of the country for crimes that would have been committed in the national territory.
The decision of the United States to drop the criminal charges against Salvador Cienfuegos, former Secretary of National Defense, to take his case to Mexico was due to a request made by the Mexican authorities, which reflects respect for the sovereignty of Mexico and the Forces Armed, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard explained.
At a press conference after the release of the joint statement between the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) and the US Department of Justice regarding the case of the former official, Ebrard explained that this also reflects that cooperation on security matters will be maintained. between both countries.
“An act means a decision that we view with sympathy and that we think positive because we do not see it as the path to impunity, but as a high respect for Mexico and the Armed Forces in Mexico. And it means that the bases of cooperation in security matters will have to be maintained because they can only exist if there is respect for Mexico’s sovereignty, therefore, we recognize this resolution of the US attorney general, ”said the foreign minister.
In this way, Cienfuegos will be tried by the Mexican authorities in compliance with the laws of the country for the alleged commission of crimes in the national territory.
According to Ebrard, the FGR began an investigation based on the evidence that the US Department of Justice had found to arrest the former Secretary of Defense, which was received in the country on November 11.
“This means that the accusations will have to be substantiated and proven in the indications within the scope of the autonomy of the FGR and will have to be confirmed or not,” reiterated Ebrard.
He added that this will not open the door to impunity and that as part of the cooperation, there must be confidence in the institutional capacities of the countries in all areas.
“Yes, there are the bases of trust, which must exist, because if there aren’t, what applies in one case, applies in all, there is trust in Mexican institutions, so the general should come, and here is the FGR that determines. If there is no trust, there will not be in any area of cooperation ”, he launched.
The official recounted how the Mexican government presented its surprise and dissatisfaction with the detention since it was made known by the US ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau before the Mexican authorities were informed.
On October 15, Ebrard announced the arrest of former secretary Cienfuegos through his Twitter account, where he mentioned that both the ambassador and the Consul in Los Angeles would give him details of the case.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador denied on Wednesday that anything had been agreed in exchange for the US attorney general’s decision to drop various drug trafficking charges against the former secretary. Defense of the Latin American country, Salvador Cienfuegos.