Mexican President Denies Deal to Capture Cartel Leader in Return for Former Defense Minister

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during a Tuesday morning press conference that his government never agreed to capture a cartel leader for the United States in order to secure the return of former Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos from US custody.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during a Tuesday morning press conference that his government never agreed to capture a cartel leader for the United States in order to secure the return of former Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos from US custody.

“There is no deal in the shadows,” he told local reporters at his regular news conference in capital Mexico City, referring to media reports that his government had threatened to expel US Drug Enforcement Administration agents over Cienfuegos’ arrest.

President Lopez Obrador also said it was wrong to suggest that the United States sent the former defense minister back so that Mexican authorities would send Washington a leader of organized crime.

Cienfuegos’ arrest in Los Angeles last month followed a multi-year investigation that used wiretaps to track a powerful military figure in Mexico that cartel leaders refer to as “El Padrino”, which means “The Godfather.” US investigators concluded that “El Padrino” was Cienfuegos.


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