Former Secretary of Mexico’s National Defense arrested by the United States’ DEA

Operation Godfather: It is is the name of the investigation that would link General Salvador Cienfuegos with drug trafficking

MEXICO CITY (Times Media Mexico) – The arrest of retired General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda became a major scandal in Mexico, after becoming the first Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) to be arrested for alleged links to organized crime and specifically drug trafficking.

Cienfuegos was detained upon his arrival at the Los Angeles airport, where he landed with his family, who have been already released, according to Milenio Televisión. The media reported that it would have been the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who requested the arrest.

According to the weekly Proceso and journalist Ioan Grillo, the investigation that would have led authorities to the retired general was called “Operation Godfather” and began approximately ten years ago.

The New York Times and BBC, said it is an investigation linked to the case of Joaquín Guzmán Loera El “Chapo” and probably also related to the case against Genaro García Luna, another former Mexican secretary.

“As they say, who needs angels when you have the gods on your payroll,” the journalist wrote through his social networks.

For his part, journalist Jesús Esquivel reported that prosecutors general related to “Operation Godfather” reported that the DEA would pursue the former secretary for alleged ties to the Mexican cartel of the Beltrán Leyva brothers in the states of Guerrero and Morelos.

At the time, Salvador Cienfuegos was the Commander of the IX Military Region, in Guerrero, and located explicitly in Cumbres de Llano Largo, according to Proceso news.

“The general was detained at the Los Angeles Airport, California”, wrote in his social media. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.

Cienfuegos Zepeda is retired and could face charges for drug trafficking in a case based in New York, the same court where the accusations against Genaro Garcia Luna are currently taking place, according to reports by Proceso, Milenio and journalist Victor Hugo Michel.

At the moment, no official reports have been published about the charges of the Drug Control Administration against Cienfuegos; however, Marcelo Ebrard informed that he would be given the consular assistance to which he is entitled and will expand the information in the next few hours.

Sources from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed El Universal that the ex-Secretary of Defense is being held at the Metropolitan Administrative Security Detention Center, located in Los Angeles, California.

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda was the Major General in charge of the Headquarters during the six-year term of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), the last president of Mexico, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda was the Major General in charge of the National Defense Department during the six-year term of Enrique Peña Nieto. The relationship between both goes back several years when the military man was designated as Commander of the First Military Region, including the State of Mexico, when Enrique Peña Nieto served as governor, according to journalist Carlos Loret de Mola.

Cienfuegos announced his retirement from the Armed Forces in December 2018, during the ceremony of Delivery and Reception of the Ministry of National Defense, where he was given General Luis Crescencio Sandoval, for the six-year term of Andrés Manuel López Obrador.