Mexican authorities have revealed that they have dropped all charges against Gen Salvador Cienfuegos; a former minister of defense in the Mexican government. Gen Cienfuegos was facing accusations of working with a drugs cartel.
According to the attorney general, the Mexican government found no evidence showing a link between the general and any criminal organization.
Gen Cienfuegos was arrested at Los Angeles airport in 2020 but the U.S. dropped charges and returned him back to Mexico. There was a serious diplomatic rift between Mexico and the U.S. after he was detained.
Gen Cienfuegos has maintained that he is an innocent person throughout his ordeal.
According to officials from the Mexican government, their latest move to exonerate Gen Cienfuegos will help to restore strained ties.
Mexico’s attorney general released a statement saying that there is no evidence linking the former minister with any form of illegal payment from a criminal group. Also, he did not do any acts aimed at protecting any criminals.
Speaking to Mexican broadcaster, Mike Vigil, a former US DEA chief, expressed his displeasure at the decision to drop charges on an individual he considers to have been involved in crime. He described the situation as a very big stain on the Mexican justice system.
According to the charges of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the former minister is accused of facilitating the activities of the H-2 cartel. Detectives established that he launched military operations to fight rival cartels in addition to shielding members of his cartel.
Reports claim that senior military figures reacted angrily after learning of the arrest in Los Angeles. The Mexican government reacted by threatening to revise how it relates with the DEA because it had not been informed of the investigation against Gen Cienfuegos.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) recommended that Gen Cienfuegos should be investigated back in Mexico. This decision was made under intense diplomatic pressure.
A US federal judge later granted the DoJ’s request to drop the charges and return him to Mexico.