Trial in New York has Mexico riveted as jury contemplates destiny of former Mexican safety chief

He has talked concerning the case for months, likening it to a tv crime drama and saying its revelations dramatize the deep corruption of his predecessors.

But Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says he isn’t going to forecast the end result of the U.S. trial in opposition to this nation’s former high safety official.

“What do I expect from the jury? We are going to wait,” López Obrador advised reporters on Thursday. “I don’t want to make any prediction. But I am not going to let this be. We are not going to shut up.”

On Friday, the Mexican president referred to as on Washington to analyze the position of U.S. legislation enforcement authorities and different U.S. officers who labored carefully with Mexico’s ex-security chief.

Following a four-week trial, jurors in U.S. District Court in New York continued deliberations Friday on the destiny of Genaro García Luna.

While serving as Mexico’s chief legislation enforcement officer, García Luna is accused of getting taken tens of millions of {dollars} in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel previously headed by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, now imprisoned for all times within the United States after being tried three years in the past in the identical Brooklyn courthouse.

García Luna was the safety secretary within the administration of ex-President Felipe Calderon, who served from 2006 to 2012 and unleashed a bloody conflict in opposition to drug traffickers. The anti-drug marketing campaign, which frequently featured García Luna as its public face, left tens of hundreds useless however did not reign in cartels or scale back cross-border drug trafficking.

The prosecution in New York has drawn intense curiosity in Mexico, the place its sometimes-sensational disclosures about hyperlinks between drug cartels and officers have featured prominently within the information and and on social media. Mexican shops have dispatched correspondents to New York to report on the proceedings.

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In court docket, ex-cartel operatives with nicknames similar to “The King,” “The Rabbit,” “The Devil’ and “The Big One” have taken the stand to finger García Luna as a grasping criminal who collected a fortune in money as police and different officers on his watch allowed huge cocaine shipments to movement via Mexico to the United States.

The protection has characterised the witnesses incriminating García Luna as a group of “murderers, kidnappers and criminals” who fabricated allegations in a bid to achieve extra lenient sentences from U.S. prosecutors.

For many Mexicans, the case has confirmed their worst suspicions about complicity between authorities officers and prison gangs that run amok, making the most of the big illicit commerce to the United States, together with different rackets. And, in a rustic the place prison trials are largely secret affairs based mostly on written declarations, the typically explosive testimony from a U.S. courtroom has proved riveting.

“From the parade of witnesses of the prosecution we can … argue that García Luna in reality is a symbol of what the court should be perceiving: Mexico is a rogue state that is rotten,” wrote columnist Raymundo Riva Palacio this week in El Financiero newspaper. “One doesn’t have to know the verdict on García Luna to suppose that, in the eyes of many Americans — and many others worldwide — we are a nation infiltrated and controlled by criminals.”

García Luna, 54, who cooperated carefully with U.S. officers throughout his legislation enforcement profession, has denied cocaine-smuggling and different costs and his attorneys depict him saying he was an exemplary public servant. He might face many years in jail if convicted. He didn’t testify throughout his trial. He was arrested in 2019 in Texas after shifting to the United States following his tenure and Mexico’s safety boss tasked with preventing cartels.

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Even Mexico’s president has appear surprised on the extent of collaboration uncovered throughout testimony between the Mexican state and multibillion-dollar drug cartels.

“Imagine, why would one go to watch these Netflix series if reality exceeds them?” López Obrador stated this month.

His morning information conferences have included frequent updates on the trial, together with a slick video on Thursday summarizing occasions so far. Mexico can also be urgent a civil case in opposition to García Luna in Florida courts in a bid to recuperate a whole bunch of tens of millions of {dollars} allegedly embezzled by the previous official.

For the Mexican president, the García Luna trial represents far more than the reckoning of one more corrupt Mexican official. The president has characterised the case as emblematic of the ethical depravity of his predecessors, particularly his loathed political adversary, Calderón.

The president has referred to as García Luna the “right arm” of Calderón, questioning how the previous chief government might have been unaware of his high cop’s alleged prison conduct. Calderón, a longtime political rival of the present president, has denied any data of García Luna’s wrongdoing, although he acknowledged listening to “rumors” of García Luna’s purported ties to drug traffickers.

López Obrador has accused Calderón of stealing the 2006 presidential election, during which López Obrador was the runner-up in a detailed race. López Obrador was elected president in 2018 — his third try on the high workplace — on an anti-corruption platform.

The president frequently asserts that his management has largely eradicated the institutional graft that has lengthy plagued Mexico. For him, the corruption being bared in a New York courtroom is a reminder of a darkish period, one thing far faraway from the up to date actuality of his administration — an assertion that many in Mexico have questioned.

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“It’s important to know that in our government there are no functionaries like García Luna,” the president stated final November. “The authorities aren’t complicit, covering up and carrying out torture and massacres.”

Critics say there may be little proof that corruption had diminished underneath the management of López Obrador. The president has, nonetheless, significantly bolstered the safety and financial portfolio of the Mexican army — a robust bloc that has incessantly been accused of human rights abuses.

In 2020, López Obrador objected vociferously to the White House after U.S. authorities arrested Mexico’s former Defense Secretary, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, at Los Angeles International Airport. He was detained on corruption costs just like these in opposition to García Luna.

The arrest of the retired basic deeply angered Mexico’s army brass, shut allies of López Obrador. The Mexican president dismissed the U.S. drug-trafficking allegations in opposition to Cienfuegos as “garbage.” The Trump administration finally relented, dropped the fees and returned Cienfuegos to Mexico.

Special correspondent Cecilia Sánchez Vidal contributed to this report.