Mexico publishes heavily edited investigation into cleared general

MEXICO CITY (AP) – A day after Mexico angered US officials by releasing a 751-page comprehensive dossier against former Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos, Mexican prosecutors who exonerated him released their own version – but with so many completely blacked out pages it was almost impossible to tell what they had found.

The report released on Sunday by the Mexican attorney general’s office included a 226-page stretch with each page blacked out, followed shortly after by a 275-page stretch of blackened pages.

In the few less editorial sections, all names and images were blacked out.

Officials appeared to be struggling to control the damage to the reputation of the justice system after prosecutors took just five days to completely absolve retired General Cienfuegos of the US allegations, supported by years of investigation, according to which he allegedly helped drug traffickers in exchange for bribes.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Saturday dismissed the US case as “fabricated” and his government released documents sent by US prosecutors when they released Cienfuegos as a diplomatic concession in Mexico and sent him to face an investigation at him.

The US Department of Justice said releasing the full evidence report violated a legal aid treaty and questioned the ability of the United States to continue to share information.

These even more bitter security relations, strained by the Mexican government’s decision to restrict American agents and withdraw their immunity even after Cienfuegos returns home rather than being tried in the United States.

The president said that while many Mexicans regard the US courts as “the good, impeccable judges … in this case, with all due respect, those who conducted this investigation did not act professionally.”

In the recently released Mexican report, what was inconspicuous appeared to have involved asking the military to investigate the credibility of the charges and rely on what Cienfuegos had officially stated in income.

For example, one of the few readable documents is a report from an army communications officer (name redacted) saying that no army BlackBerry had been officially assigned to Cienfuegos or anyone. else.

The 751-page file that US officials shared with Mexico consists largely of intercepted BlackBerry messenger exchanges between traffickers killed since then, describing relationships with a person they identify as Cienfuegos, often referred to by the nickname of “The Godfather”.

López Obrador has relied heavily on the military for a wide range of projects far beyond security and his government has apparently reacted to military outrage over Cienfuegos’ arrest, complaining that he was not sufficiently informed of the case by US officials beforehand.

Cienfuegos was arrested in Los Angeles in October, but the US government dropped charges against him in November after Mexican officials threatened to restrict US agents.

The published US documents include allegedly intercepted text messages between the H-2 cartel leader based in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit and a senior official, who allegedly served as an intermediary with the general.

In an exchange, Daniel Silva Garate told his boss, Juan Francisco Patrón Sánchez, that he was arrested by men with military-style short haircuts and taken to the headquarters of the Defense Department in Mexico City for a meeting with “The Godfather. “

Silva-Garate tells his boss that “The Godfather” told him, “Now we’re going to do great things with you … that what you have done is small.”

Patrón Sanchez says he wants safe routes to ship drugs from Colombia and Silva Garate texts: “He says as long as he’s here you’ll be free… they’ll never conduct operations. strong ”or raids.

Silva Garate tells her boss that the “Godfather” told her: “You can sleep peacefully, no operation will affect you.”

Other exchanges describe the Godfather allegedly offering to organize a boat to help transport drugs, introducing the traffickers to other officials, and admitting to helping other traffickers in the past.

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