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Mexico’s former protection minister detained by US authorities at Los Angeles airport, official says

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(CNN)Mexico’s former protection minister, Basic Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, was detained by US authorities at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport for what his nation’s president mentioned Friday had been ties to drug trafficking.

International Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter Thursday night time that he was knowledgeable of the detention by US Ambassador to Mexico, Christopher Landau.

Fees in opposition to Cienfuegos Zepeda haven’t been introduced, and US authorities haven’t but confirmed his detention.

    A US Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman wouldn’t verify or deny the detention.

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    “It’s a very regrettable reality {that a} former protection secretary is detained, accused of drug trafficking,” Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, generally often called AMLO, mentioned throughout his every day press briefing on Friday.

    Cienfuegos Zepeda was Mexico’s protection minister from 2012 to 2018. He served below President Enrique Peña Nieto, who left workplace two years in the past.

    Cienfuego Zepeda’s detention comes lower than a yr after the US arrest of Mexico’s former public security secretary, Genaro Garcia Luna, who held the submit from 2006 to 2012.

    Garcia Luna, who was arrested by federal brokers in Dallas, Texas, final December, was charged in a drug trafficking conspiracy that concerned receiving hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in bribes from imprisoned drug cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, in line with federal prosecutors. Garcia Luna has pleaded not responsible to the fees.

    Ebrard mentioned the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles would inform him of the fees in opposition to Cienfuegos Zepeda and supply consular help to him.

    Mexico’s president mentioned the overall was to seem in a US federal court docket later Friday.

      AMLO defended the armed forces, calling them “incorruptible” and “pillars of the Mexican state” whereas blaming former administrations of what he referred to as the “neoliberal interval” when tens of hundreds of Mexicans had been killed in drug-related violence and cartel warfare.

      CORRECTION: An earlier model of this story misspelled the title of the previous protection minister Basic Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda.

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