21 November 2018
All Latin American countries are corrupt. Mexico is most corrupt after Brazil. Much of Mexican corruption does not come to light because news relating to ruling party is silenced. This time a drug dealer’s trial is coming up in the United States and it opens a can of worms.
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s trial is underway in the United States under extraordinary security. He used to run the Sinaloa Cartel until his capture in 2016. The cartel was trafficking drugs, money, and weapons throughout the world.
El Chapo, as he is known, is on trial facing 17 charges, including money laundering, drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit murder, among others.
But the Mexican government’s failure to control the growth of organized crime is also at the centre of the trial including bribes paid to top-level politicians.
In 2006, the Mexican government launched the war against drugs, with former President Felipe Calderon deploying troops to the streets of Mexico to stomp out the cartels. But the military was implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture, and sometimes even carrying out the alleged work of organized crime groups. Wnycstudios reported.
Mexican military sought to capture Guzman. A lieutenant colonel in the military demanded $250,000 and when it was paid the operation was aborted. Guzman escaped from Mexican prison twice before.
Guzman was extradited to New York City early last year for this trial. A witness at the trial testified that he paid a multimillion-dollar bribe to an aid of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in 2005.
The witness, Jesus Zambada, also said he paid millions of dollars in bribes to former Mexican government official Genaro Garcia Luna on behalf of his brother, drug lord Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who remains at large.
Zambada is testifying against Guzman under an agreement with U.S. prosecutors. He previously told the court that his brother and Guzman worked together for years to move multi-ton shipments of cocaine from Colombia through Mexico into the United States. In the process they even arranged for their rivals to be murdered.
Zambada also said he paid “a few million” dollars to a Mexico City government official who they believed could become Mexico’s next secretary of public security. The name of the official was not revealed. But Gabriel Regino, a former sub secretary of public security in Mexico City who is now a criminal law professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, wrote on Twitter that an accusation of bribery had levelled against him in the trial but was false.
Zambada also said under cross-examination that he gave a suitcase containing US$3 million to Garcia Luna in 2005 or 2006, when Garcia Luna was director of Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency. He said that he gave him another US$3 million to US$5 million in 2007, when he became secretary of public security. Channel News Asia reported.