Trial starts in Mexico top cop bribery trial

Opening arguments started Monday within the bribery case of Mexico’s former head of federal police — accused of raking in tens of millions in return for aiding “El Chapo” Guzman’s ruthless Sinaloa cartel.

Genaro García Luna, 54, appeared earlier than a jury in Brooklyn federal courtroom, the place prosecutors described him as a a trusted and tremendously highly effective public servant who betrayed the Mexican public’s belief in alternate for many dinero.

“He saved taking soiled cash and cocaine saved flowing into america,” Assistant US Legal professional Philip Pilmar mentioned.

“As a result of he managed the nation’s complete police power, the defendant thought he was above the regulation… Nobody is above the regulation.” 

Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigative Company from 2001 to 2005, and was named the secretary of public safety in 2006 — putting him in control of the Mexican Federal Police.

He held that function till 2012 — throughout which era, prosecutors allege, he was on the take.

Courtroom sketch showing a man pointing
Prosecutor Philip Pilmar factors at Mexico’s former Public Safety Minister Genaro Garcia Luna throughout opening arguments in Garcia Luna’s trial on costs that he accepted tens of millions of {dollars} to guard the highly effective Sinaloa Cartel.

“Whereas he was anticipated to work for the Mexican folks, he had a second job, a dirtier job, a extra worthwhile job,” Pilmar advised the courtroom, including, “It’s exhausting for me to clarify how highly effective he actually was as a result of we don’t have any officer in america who consolidated that quantity of energy below them.”

Pilmar accused Luna of doing greater than merely turning a blind eye to the Cartel’s drug commerce.

The prosecutor mentioned that, in alternate for bribes, Luna supplied Cartel troopers with police uniforms and badges — and even despatched his personal males as mercenaries to take out enemies of the Sinaloan operation.

“The defendant took some steps to not get caught,” Pilmar mentioned. “He saved up appearances and made some arrests. He allow us to underlings do the soiled work.

Luna at a podium
Genaro Garcia Luna served as Mexico’s high cop from 2006 to 2012.

“The defendant was an individual who was purported to be in control of combating the Sinaloa cartel,” Pilmar mentioned. “Truly, he was their most valued asset.” 

Luna has maintained his innocence, and pleaded not responsible to costs of worldwide cocaine trafficking conspiracy and making false statements.

The allegations towards Luna first surfaced throughout the trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in Brooklyn federal courtroom in 2018, when a key witness described personally dropping off instances containing between $three million and $5 million.

On the time, Luna vehemently denied the accusations.

“I by no means had any contact nor obtained folks linked to prison exercise,” he mentioned in a publicly launched letter in November 2018.

“I’ve systematically been defamed so long as I’ve attacked the pursuits of organized crime, they usually have by no means produced a single piece of proof to again up these calumnies,” he claimed.

Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman
Former Sinaloa Cartel boss Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was in energy throughout Luna’s stint as head of Federal Police.

And one other cartel heavy — convicted hitman Edgar “la Barbie” Valdez-Villareal — is anticipated to testify at trial that he, too, personally delivered cash to Luna.

An legal professional for Luna contended Monday that the prosecution’s key witnesses are all profession criminals with an axe to grind towards the previous cop.

“He waged an all out struggle towards organized crime,” protection legal professional Cesar de Castro mentioned of Luna.

“The federal government’s witnesses are casualties [of that war],” he mentioned. “What higher revenge than to bury the person who waged struggle towards the cartels?

“All you’ve is the worst criminals on the planet with overwhelming motives to lie,” he added.

Luna “was a public servant in Mexico for greater than 20 years,” de Castro mentioned, noting that he’d rid the ranks of 1000’s of Federal Cops suspected of corruption. “He spent his complete profession systematically combating all types of prison organizations.”  

“Don’t let the cartels play you,” he mentioned to the jury. “They’re profession criminals {and professional} criminals.” 

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