Mexico’s Ex-Top Cop Guilty of Taking Cartel Bribes

Mexico’s former top security chief has been convicted of taking millions of dollars in bribes to aid the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. Genaro García Luna, Secretary of Public Security from 2006 to 2012 under former President Felipe Calderón, was found guilty on all counts of drug trafficking conspiracy and perjury in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

According to prosecutors, García Luna took at least $10 million in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for his assistance in trafficking drugs into the United States. As Mexico’s top cop, García Luna was responsible for overseeing the country’s fight against drug cartels, making the revelations of his involvement in such activity all the more shocking.

The trial lasted for several weeks and featured testimony from multiple witnesses who testified to García Luna’s close ties with the Sinaloa cartel. One witness, Jesús Zambada, a former cartel member, claimed that García Luna had received regular payments of up to $3 million a month from the organization.

The verdict is a significant blow to Mexico’s efforts to combat drug trafficking and organized crime, highlighting the pervasive corruption that has long plagued the country’s security forces. It also raises concerns about the extent to which the Sinaloa cartel has infiltrated the highest levels of the Mexican government, underscoring the country’s challenges as it seeks to tackle drug-related violence.

The conviction of García Luna highlights the need for greater border security. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border last week and demanded the Biden administration do more to stop drug trafficking. Now Democrats, too, are calling on Biden to pressure Mexican officials to crack down on the cartels.

In the wake of García Luna’s conviction, there are likely to be calls for further investigations into the links between drug cartels and Mexican officials. The case is a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges facing Mexico and the United States in the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime and the urgent need for the Biden administration to address border security.