Former magistrate's bribery connection to CJNG cartel is confirmed

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Former magistrate's bribery connection to CJNG cartel is confirmed


By Carlos Alvarez
Saturday, September 12, 2020 07:03 PM

Sara Olimpia Reyes García, magistrate of the Specialized Criminal Court of the State of Mexico, confirmed the connection to the process of former magistrate Isidro Avelar Gutiérrez, accused of allegedly receiving bribes from the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG).

When resolving the appeal filed by Avelar Gutiérrez against his prosecution, issued on November 18, 2019, the federal magistrate also ratified the precautionary measure of justified preventive detention against the former judge, because, as indicated, they subsist the conditions for him to escape.

Avelar Gutiérrez was detained on November 22, 2019, in Guadalajara, Jalisco, by agents of the Attorney General's Office (FGR). The magistrate had been suspended from his post last May, without pay, by the Federal Judicial Council (CJF), which, through a statement, indicated that the accused was transferred to Mexico City.

The CJF explained that the arrest of the magistrate was derived from the complaint he filed on May 24, 2019, "for financial irregularities and additional income." On November 28, 2019, Avelar Gutiérrez was linked to the process and admitted to the Federal Center for Social Readaptation (CEFERESO) number 4, located in the town of El Rincón, municipality of Tepic, in Nayarit.

The now former magistrate was singled out by the United States Treasury Department for possible links with the CJNG - a cartel headed by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, alias "El Mencho" -, of course money laundering. Almost simultaneously, the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) announced that it had frozen the accounts of Avelar Gutiérrez, to whom it detected deposits of more than 70 million pesos that do not coincide with the income he received in the Judicial Power of the Federation ( PJF).

The case against Avelar Gutiérrez was opened after detecting cases in which judges hold properties and other assets that cannot be explained only with their income, and that are allegedly the result of payment for favorable resolutions to members of organized crime.

One of the main investigations points to the magistrate Avelar Gutiérrez, who would have acquired assets for more than 18 million pesos in six years (between 2010 and 2016), and who ordered the release of Juan Francisco Aguilar Santana, alias “Juan Pistolas”, one of the people closest to "El Mencho".

According to the investigation, the same magistrate was in charge of the Sixth Unitary Court of the Third Circuit based in Jalisco, and attended at least 10 cases of detainees linked to said Cartel, resulting in a result in favor of the accused.

In the case of “Juan Pistolas”, Judge Avelar Gutiérrez would not have had sufficient elements for his release, these being unsustainable, such as the one that searches were carried out almost at the same time by the Public Ministry, and the official could not be in both .

At the time, the "El Mencho" compadre was arrested in possession of 12 short and 15 long weapons, two grenade launchers, four anti-area defense equipment and drugs, and with the aggravating circumstance of being a repeat offender, since in 2010 he was arrested, what he spent seven years in prison for crimes against health.

"Juan Pistolas" was arrested in June 2018 and is considered the head of a group of hitmen at the service of the CJNG, which recruits men to train them in fields equipped for the handling of weapons and operational tactics, in order to keep the areas under control. of Guadalajara and Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, Jalisco.

On May 13, 2019, Santiago Nieto Castillo, head of the UIF, of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), reported that a federal magistrate was assured accounts for 50 million pesos, and although he did not identify him by His name, everything suggested that it was Avelar Gutiérrez, when mentioning that he was assigned to Jalisco.

However, the "Juan Pistolas" file was not the only one of its kind. There are others in which the same magistrate ruled the release of at least 10 defendants who allegedly belong to the CJNG, including Rubén Oseguera González "El Menchito", son of Rubén or Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes "El Mencho", leader of the CJNG.

In April 2019, Avelar Gutiérrez was transferred to a court based in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, but the CJF initiated an administrative procedure on May 17 of that same year, a day on which the Office for the Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC) , for its acronym in English of the US Department of the Treasury, included him in its "black list" of persons designated for his alleged ties to drug trafficking.

In his 20-year career as a member of the PJF, Avelar Gutiérrez also handled the cases of Rafael Caro Quintero and Rogelio González Pizaña, the latter considered in 1999 one of the most important men in the structuring of the Gulf Cartel, when the leader was Osiel Cárdenas Guillén.

However, the newspaper Reforma reported that the case for which the now former magistrate is in jail is due to an alleged illicit enrichment that derives from a complaint from the UIF, which detected that in November 2011, Avelar Gutiérrez received in an account from HSBC bank, a deposit for 12 million 020 thousand 474.06 pesos.

However, the magistrate told the authorities that the resources corresponded to the payment he received from the sale of a property, but the FGR maintains that the sale actually dates from August 2012, eight months after he received the millionaire deposit.