MEXICO CITY (AP) — On Monday, January 18th, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador renewed his attack on the U.S. investigation of a former Mexican defense secretary and warned that the U.S. Justice Department should consider carefully its threat to suspend cooperation with Mexico.
López Obrador defended the decision by the Mexican Attorney General’s Office not to pursue charges against retired Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, and he mocked the results of the seven-year investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“How are you going to accuse someone based on photographs of phone screens?” López Obrador said in reference to hundreds of pages of evidence the U.S. government shared with Mexico after dropping charges against Cienfuegos and returning him to Mexico in November.
On Friday, Mexico published all of the information the U.S. had shared, spurring a rare public rebuke from the Justice Department that expressed disappointment in Mexico’s decision to drop the case against Cienfuegos.
“The United States Department of Justice is also deeply disappointed by Mexico’s decision to publicize information shared with Mexico in confidence,” the U.S. department said in a statement Friday. “Publicizing such information violates the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance between Mexico and the United States, and calls into question whether the United States can continue to share information to support Mexico’s own criminal investigations.”
López Obrador responded Monday: “I hope they think about it carefully, because I could say the same, too. We are disappointed with the DEA’s work.”
López Obrador accused the DEA of making up the case against Cienfuegos. The intercepted message exchanges allegedly between Cienfuegos and members of the H-2 cartel suggest the then highest-ranking member of Mexico’s military was helping the cartel by keeping the military off their backs and going after their rivals.
But López Obrador said the language used and the spelling mistakes committed by the person identified by U.S. prosecutors as Cienfuegos would not be possible from a mid-level officer, much less a high-ranking one.
Source: Yahoo News
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