This Thursday, February 2, is the seventh day of testimony in the trial against former Public Security Secretary Genaro García Luna, which is taking place in New York, United States, and is presided over by Judge Brian M. Cogan.
Despite the days’ progress, the prosecution still plans to summon several witnesses this week, four of which are high profile collaborators, among them Édgar Veytia, Prosecutor of Nayarit; Édgar Valdez Villarreal, alias “La Barbie“; and even Jesús Reynaldo Zambada García, alias “El Rey” (The King).
On February 1st, the second witness of the day was the Colombian Harold Poveda, alias “El Conejo“, who accepted being guilty of having smuggled one million kilograms of cocaine into the United States during his entire criminal career, who assured that he had problems with Arturo Beltrán Leyva, since he trafficked drugs independently in the coasts of the state of Guerrero, which generated that at the time he wanted to kill him, so he had to flee to Colombia, as reported from the court by the Mexican journalist Ariel Moutsatsos.
As time went by with the beginning of the Colombian drug war, he had to return to Mexico, so he had to make peace with Arturo Beltran Leyva. To do so, he asked for the help of “King” Zambada, Ariel Moutsatsos detailed in a brief live link for the news platform N+.
After reaching an agreement, he agreed to traffic cocaine for him as well, and over the years, the relationship between the two transformed into one of friendship. According to Harold Poveda, he began to call Arturo Beltrán Leyva “uncle” because they had a father-son relationship. Harold is expected to be the first to testify in court on Thursday.
Seventh day of testimony in García Luna’s trial
Police officer suffered the consequences for reporting what he saw
According to what was reported by journalist Arturo Angel, this day of hearing concluded when prosecutors asked retired police officer Francisco Cañedo if he had any consequences after anonymously reporting to a journalist that he saw Garcia Luna accompanied by “La Barbie” and “El Barbas“, to which he answered “yes”.
He explained that he was accused of drug trafficking, organized crime, prison evasion, among other crimes, for which he was placed under arrest and later sent to Puente Grande. He was finally acquitted of all charges.
It will be next Monday, February 6, when the defense of the “Supercop” will conduct the cross-examination of the federal police officer. There will be no hearing this Friday, February 3.
15:35 | Federal Police assures that he saw García Luna with “La Barbie” and “El Barbas”.
The prosecution put on the stand a federal police officer with 30 years of career, Francisco Cañedo Zavaleta, the witness assured that on October 19, 20008 he saw Genaro García Luna on the Cuernavaca-Tepoztlán highway, in the company of Édgar Valdez, “La Barbie“, who was armed, and Arturo Beltrán Leyva, “El Barbas“.
He explained that when he reached an intersection he saw three Suburban vans stopped, so he slowed down to see if something was happening, but his surprise was great when he saw the aforementioned people, so he accelerated, but he felt that he was being followed.
4:20 | Showing a photo of Putin with Hillary Clinton
At the insistence of Genaro Garcia Luna’s defense to show photos of the former Security Secretary with Barack Obama and other important U.S. officials or figures, the prosecution showed the jury a photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Hillary Clinton, something the judge called inappropriate.
14:15 | Judge, prosecutors, and defense meet in private
At 2:00 p.m. the lunch recess ended and the hearing resumed, the prosecution no longer went into the testimony of agent Madrigal, while the defense objected to the emphasis on the testimony of “El Grande“. On one side of the bench, the judge, the defense and the prosecutors were gathered.
11:30 a.m. – The DEA knew about the bribes to García Luna since 2010.
The second witness of the day is Miguel Madrigal, an active agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), who testified that the agency knew about the Beltrán Leyva Cartel’s bribes to García Luna since at least 2010, Mexican journalist Ariel Moutsatsos, correspondent of the N+ platform, reported from the court.
Miguel Madrigal said that hours after “El Grande’s” arrest, he sought him out to provide information about the bribes paid to Garcia Luna and his links to crime.
The DEA agent also said that he had access to a video showing that a Cherokee van belonging to Federal Police commander Edgar Bayardo was in Jesús “El Rey” Zambada’s house.
From New York, journalist Arturo Angel reported that Miguel Madrigal said that the DEA made it known to then Federal Police Commissioner Victor Garay that Bayardo might have ties to Zambada, but no investigation was done.
10:50 | “El Conejo” admitted that he ordered the killing of a Colombian officer for sleeping with his girlfriend.
Harold Poveda “El Conejo” admitted that although he never killed anyone with his own hands, he did have several people killed, among them an officer of the Colombian Armed Forces, because he was sleeping with his then girlfriend.
He also pointed out that he once met “El Rey” Zambada in a van, prior to the “Mochomo” trial. At that moment he complained to him for having given the information when he was arrested and his house in Desierto de los Leones was confiscated, to which he answered that that was already behind him and that he would give him one of his records, since he was now a composer.
10:30 | “El Conejo” concludes his testimony; he admits that he never saw García Luna.
With the conclusion of the testimony of Harold Poveda, alias “El Conejo“, García Luna’s defense was able to get him to admit that he never saw Genaro in person and that he never paid bribes directly to the former Public Security Secretary.
The Colombian drug lord also acknowledged that he never saw others pay bribes to Garcia Luna, since all he knows is what he heard from other people, according to Mexican journalist Arturo Angel, who is in the New York court.
The journalist also highlighted that the defense managed to evidence that “El Conejo” violated a cooperation agreement signed in 2013, since in 2015 he bribed a prison guard and he had committed not to commit new crimes.
It should be noted that this crime was confirmed by prosecutors, although they assured that the offender confessed it voluntarily and that for the bribe to the guard, the judge sentenced him to 12 months in prison, which he already served 4 years ago when he was still in prison, since he has been free on bail since 2019.