Former Mexican security chief's Brooklyn trial for alleged ties to Sinaloa cartel could have grave implications for US-Mexico 'war on drugs'

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Genaro Garcia Luna, one of Mexico’s most powerful former officials, is set to face trial on Tuesday in Brooklyn, charged with engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise after receiving millions of dollars in bribes from the infamous Sinaloa Cartel. The trial could have greater implications for “war on drugs” on both sides of the border.

Garcia Luna, a former head of Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency who later served as Secretary of Mexico’s Public Security, was arrested in Texas in 2019 and was charged with lying to the US government and conspiring to traffic cocaine, according to The Guardian.

The Eastern District of New York said in 2020 that between 2001 and 2012, “while occupying high-ranking law enforcement positions in the Mexican government,” Garcia Luna received millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel “in exchange for providing protection for its drug trafficking activities.”

“As alleged, for nearly two decades Garica Luna betrayed those he was sworn to protect by accepting bribes from members of the Sinaloa Cartel to facilitate their crimes and empower their criminal enterprise,” said Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Seth Ducharme at the time.

The Eastern District of New York said that in exchange for the bribes, the defendants, including Garcia Luna and two high-ranking Mexican law enforcement officials who worked under Garcia Luna, “abused their public positions by allowing the Sinaloa Cartel to obtain safe passage for its drug shipments, and by providing sensitive law enforcement information about investigations into the Cartel, and information about rival drug cartels, thereby facilitating the importation of multi‑ton quantities of cocaine and other drugs into the United States.”

“For example, between 2002 and 2007, Garcia Luna allegedly aided at least six cocaine shipments totaling more than 50,000 kilos of cocaine,” the district said.

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