SAN LUIS POTOSI, Mexico
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said during a news conference Thursday that his country’s interest and position has always been to protect the dignity and institutions of the country.
His comments were directed at the arrival of former defense chief Salvador Cienfuegos after the US dismissed four drug trafficking and money laundering charges made against the once head of security in Mexico before he was extradited to Mexico.
Ebrard notified Cienfuegos of an ongoing investigation recently initiated by Mexican prosecutors after he arrived at Toluca’s international airport in the State of Mexico. The head of the secretariat disclosed that the probe stems from information and evidence provided by the US Justice Department.
Ebrard noted the decision to extradite Cienfuegos was a joint effort by the two nations to respect Mexico’s sovereignty.
“Those who turn out responsible for the crimes, in accordance with our laws, are to be indicted, prosecuted, and charged in Mexico by Mexico and not by other countries. This notion is the basis that encouraged the agreement that we have discussed, shared, and sustain with the US authorities,” said Ebrard, who promised it was not a maneuver to protect an individual but to protect the autonomy of Mexico.
Mexican President Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador addressed speculation that the government threatened to expel US Drug Enforcement Agency agents to get the dismissal of the charges against Cienfuegos and said it was all done diplomatically.
“Through diplomatic communication, we expressed our discomfort, which they understood very well and the problem was resolved,” he said.
Ebrard and Lopez Obrador agreed that the US broke cooperation regarding investigations because the northern neighbor initially did not notify nor share information about the case with Mexican authorities.
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