It’s not just President Felipe Calderon who’s leaving office today. It’s also the top tier of his government, many of them honorable functionaries, a few less honorable, and among the last group Garcia Luna, the Public Security Minister (the Federal Police) has to be at the top of the list. Luna seems to be facing ever-greater queries as he leaves office.
But In Mexico nothing is certain until it happens. And even then you can't be certain that what you think happened is really what happened.
It is known by the underworld of unofficial information, that does not appear in such media as Televisa and TV Azteca, and rumors on the street that Genaro Garcia Luna, Secretary of Public Safety has ties to the drug trade.
Garcia Luna, an engineer, has been involved in intelligence operations for more than two decades. Word on the street is that Calderon kept him in his post for his entire six-year term because Garcia Luna knew too much from domestic wiretapping. Those kinds of aides can be dangerous. Think J. Edgar Hoover.
In his job as a public servant, Garcia Luna appears to have amassed a sizeable personal fortune. As recently as 2007, he and his family lived in a modest home in a working class neighborhood. By 2009, he’d bought one home in the swank Jardines de la Montana district of southern Mexico City for about $750,000 dollars, and begun building another at a cost of nearly $2 million dollars. Public records show no mortgage on either property.
From a distance it seems strange that he would spend that much money on residences in Mexico City knowing that he would be leaving "public service" in the near future and that he might be called to account for some of his actions as head of the federal police. It could be due to his well known arrogance, but he may have an ace up his sleeve.
He has reportedly paid several visits to Carlos Salinas de Gortari, an ex-President of Mexico who many Mexicans love to hate and believe him to be the most corrupt President in Mexico's history. Salinas went into self-imposed exile in Ireland when he left office amid investigations that he sent several hundred million dollars to Swiss banks before he left office. He was also probably concerned that he might be charged along with his brother (who was charged and convicted) of the murder of a political opponent Luis Donaldo Colosio, who many compared to a JFK as being a hope for the future. Colosio had been the hand picked successor of Salinas, but after he officially became the PRI candidate he started saying things and campaigning on a somewhat "populist" campaign. Salinas and the powers that be in PRI did not like Colosio "going off the reservation". As a result he was shot at point blank range in the midst of a political rally.
Salinas returned to Mexico when it became apparent that PRI was being returned to power. He is still considered a very powerful power broker (one of the dinausaurs) in PRI. He quickly became an advisor to Enrique Pena Nieto in his campaign. The reports of Luna paying several visits to him allege that Luna sought support from Salinas for Pena to retain Luna in a Ministerial position in the new government.
Undoubtably, Luna disclosed some of the "secrets" (ace up his sleeve) he held about many powerful people. As head of the Federal Police, he would have accumulated many intelligence files on prominent members of the "elite".
He and Salinas probably understood each other very well, being somewhat birds of feather. Only time will tell whether those "secrets" were enough to convince Pena Nieto and other PRI powers to keep him. But Salinas might have explained and reminded Luna what could happen to a political opponent that talked too much or went off the reservation.
Most US officials have expressed confidence Luna over the past 6 years. Luna was widely perceived in Mexico as having ties to the drug trade, with a reputation of being corrupt. It doesn't add up. (Unless he had protection from the CIA and/or "secrets" about high public officials in the US).
Garcia Luna ordered on March 27, arrest of journalists from the private television TVC that reported on his properties, under the pretext that it was false reporting because the properties were his wife and daughters, Journalists who know the official well are aware of his irascible and arrogant nature and considered it a warning to not get too much into his affairs.
The former commissioner of the Federal Preventive Police Gerardo Garay Cadena, Garcia Luna's right hand for 16 years and now is imprisoned in the maximum security prison in Nayarit, accused of working for the Sinaloa cartel,
The Federal Police that Luna oversees have been involved in repeated scandals in the last six months.
First, there was the firefight in the food court at the Mexico City airport in which some federal police fired on and killed three of their colleagues. The shooting blew open evidence that federal police were letting drug rings operate at the terminal. Eventually, all 348 federal police working there were replaced.
Then came the incident in late August when federal police ambushed a U.S. Embassy vehicle in mountains outside of Mexico City. They fired 152 bullets at the vehicle, which they later said they suspected carried kidnappers. Rather, the vehicle carried two CIA operatives and a Mexican navy captain. Fourteen federal police and five commanders have been arrested for what prosecutors called a “direct” ambush.
The latest controversy, a drug trafficker known by the nickname “La Barbie” sent a letter to the Reforma newspaper this week saying his crime gang had long paid off Garcia Luna.
"I can attest that he has received money from me, from drug-trafficking groups and organized crime," the Texas-born Edgar Valdez Villareal, 39, wrote in the letter, which The Wall Street Journal also obtained.
But Luna was never one to put all his eggs in one basket and it is always wise to have a "Plan B". He may have learned something from Salinas, when things are not going your way - RUN.
Reporte Indigo reported that Garcia Luna’s wife, Linda Cristina Pereyra, has bought into a series of businesses in South Florida, including Oggi Caffe in North Bay Village and a pizzeria in Coconut Grove. A number of other enterprises believed to 22, including security firms, internet TV service, corporations to sell real estate, works of art, and managing restaurants. Behind these 22 enterprises it believed that Mauricio Family Samuel Weinberg is acting as a front man for Luna. He is an entrepreneur who received a grant from Luna's SSP to provide private security services during this administration. The address for some of these corporations corresponds to several luxury condominium buildings overlooking the sea.
Whether Luna's secrets are sufficient to assure him a position of power (and thus the accumulation of more wealth) in the new administration, or if he decides to go to Miami Beach to "retire", he almost certainly has a "golden parachute" to ensure a golden retirement.
Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.
Good read DD, thanks.
Anabel Hernandez has a new book "Mexico en Llamas". She has so much dirt on the PAN party its embarrassing!
Does someone have the download link to her book?
In reply to this post by 777
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@Magic. She is a very brave woman. The following is from her acceptance speech when she was awarded the 2012 Golden Pen of Freedom, the annual press freedom prize of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
I posted it on the Forum back in October as;
"I want to live, but to live in silence is just another way to die. "
By Anabel Hernández
A year and nine months ago I’d never have believed that I’d be here today. Every morning I’m surprised by life and open my eyes on a burnt out country where in six years more than 60,000 people have been executed by the government or organised crime. Their eyes will never open again. I’m surprised by being able to embrace my children, my mother and my siblings in a country where more than 18,000 children, teenagers and parents have disappeared in a phoney war against drug trafficking. Their families will never embrace them again.
In December 2010 when the book ‘The Drug Lords’, a product of five years of journalistic investigation, was published, I was sentenced to death by high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Public Security of president Felipe Calderón’s government for having exposed his relationship with kidnappers and the Sinaloa Cartel, the most powerful cartel in the world according to the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration. Since the 1st December 2010 a price has been put on my head and on that day I decided to fight for my life. Since then I have been on the verge of losing the things that I love the most. My family was attacked, my sisters have been harassed in their homes by armed thugs, my information sources now feature on the list of missing persons, have been killed or unjustly imprisoned. Every day I live with this weight in my heart, never knowing when my time will be up.
The world looks to a burnt out Mexico but never quite understands what goes on here and consequently does not realise that this could happen anywhere on earth. I have had the chance to talk with journalists from all over the world who have come to Mexico over the course of recent years to experience the adrenaline of the safari of terror and death. They come in search of shootings, corpses and pieces of bodies; they count the hangings and interview hit men, but never get to the bottom of the problem.
The Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Mario Vargas Llosa once said that there existed in Mexico a ‘perfect dictatorship’. In Mexico today there is a ‘perfect criminal dictatorship’. The most repressive regime of all time is that of the power of organised crime that has blended with Mexico’s political and economic power thanks to a corrupt and unpunished national system. This combination of a drowsy society divided by indifference or terror makes for the perfect milieu for this perverse regime to maintain itself and grow. To think this, say this or write this is more dangerous in Mexico than being a drug-trafficker or working for them.
This is the power that has murdered thousands of innocent children, youths, women and men. This is the power that has seized areas of Mexican territory and subjected the population to a regime of terror, extortion, kidnapping and impunity. This is the power that obstructs freedom of expression, the power that has executed 82 journalists over the course of a decade, has caused more than 16 to disappear and threatened hundreds, such as myself. 80% of these cases have taken place under the government of the current outgoing president, Felipe Calderón.
This is the power that ensures that crimes against journalists go unpunished. So as to wash their hands before public opinion and the international community, the government of Mexico, which is currently considered the most dangerous place on earth to work as a journalist, claims to have created a prosecution office to protect journalists and resolve cases of their murder. This office has done nothing but conceal the consent of federal and local government in the murder of journalists. Its budget has been reduced by up to 74%, an indication of governmental interest, and 90% of cases remain unpunished. In only one of every ten cases has the alleged perpetrator been jailed.
The crisis within Mexico with regard to freedom of expression has been devastating. The media are afraid and preserve their economic interests with the government, and barely fight back when their journalists are killed, are threatened or disappear. There is inaction in part due to a lack of solidarity in the union and among the dynamic media egotists that well you know, but also because the government has criminalised murdered journalists in general, as well as anyone who tries to defend them. Family members have no way out; they collect pieces of tortured and dismembered journalists who have been dumped in rubbish sacks. They must be quiet and keep their heads down when the infamous government, with no evidence whatsoever, claims that the journalist was involved in trafficking.
A year and nine months ago, I understood that it was not enough to survive this barbarity. To feel the breeze blowing on my face, to breathe clean air and see the smiles of my beloved children is not enough. A life in silence is not life anywhere on earth. To live in silence with regard to how corruption, crime and impunity continue to empower themselves in my country is also to die. I continue to denounce the decay of Mexico and the collusion of politicians, public servants and high-level businessmen with Mexican drug cartels. Today Mexican society is in need of brave and honest journalists who are ready to fight and I believe that the international community and world media share this responsibility to deeply consider the reality of the situation in Mexico and assist us in achieving our goals. Without freedom of expression, there is no possibility of justice or democracy.
Today, you award me with the Golden Pen of Freedom. I never expected any prize in exchange for my work. I dedicate and symbolically award this prize to all the Mexican journalists whose voices have been silenced by death, forced disappearance or censorship. I also dedicate it to all those Mexican journalists who daily continue to set an example in their duty to inform and denounce at whatever cost.
I will fight until my last breath, even if it is a small example, so that as journalists we are not brought to our knees before the drug state. I don’t know how many days, weeks, months or years I have left. I know that I am on the blacklist of very powerful men who will go unpunished with their pockets full of money from drug bribes and a guilty conscience for their unmentionable acts. I know that they are awaiting their moment to carry out their threats at little political cost. I know that I have nothing but the truth, my voice and my work as a journalist to defend myself with.
If one day it happens, remember me like this, upright. I do not want to be another number on the list of dead journalists. I want to be among the statistics of journalists who fought to live.
It’s true, as Mexicans we are responsible for our own disgrace, but I hope that the international community will not continue to be indolent before the empire of the Mexican drug state, which will not be resolved by the end of the administration of Felipe Calderón. I hope they will protect their borders and economies against this expanding power and give neither shelter nor protection to those responsible, be they ex-presidents, presidents, businessmen or drug-traffickers.
I want to live, but to live in silence is just another way to die.
Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.
In reply to this post by DD
DD: Don't forget about the French "kidnapper" incident. French woman had Mexican boyfriend who was leader of a kidnapping gang. They were caught, and she was arrested with them. So far, no problem.
The problem arose when Garcia Luna staged an arrest for the news cameras, long after the original arrest happened. That was the arrest that was shown to the media, and that everybody believed was the real arrest.
There were so many procedural rights violations that the case created a big stink with the French government. The woman is still in prison. Too lazy to find her name, but you probably know it off the top of your head.
This post was updated on .
THE PEOPLE WHO STARTED THE WAR FOR SELFISH REASONS, IN THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT. THIS IS WHEN CORRUPTION WENT MAINSTREAM I BELIEVE IN MEXICO
Really interesting news from 2012. You can see the mansion (ABOVE, POSTS ABOVE); that Luna bought in Miami, where he was arrested. Then reported from Wichita, Kansas further news, nine years later.
Reading the latest news;https://www.ksn.com/news/national-world/mexico-reveals-webs-of-corruption-in-contracts-trafficking/
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s top financial investigator on Friday reported on the webs of corruption and money laundering that thieves, traffickers, and political figures have used to hide their wealth:
Pemex, gangs, judges, etc, but one on particular: GARCIA LUNA, the Public Security Minister, his allegations:
- Extortion , through domestic wire-tappings
- Prohibiting, while in office, of publications investing this properties, along with no loans
- an Engineer, specializing in domestic wire-tappings
- 2007, a modest home, 2009 a home bought for $750,000 in Mexico City
- 2009, building a $2,000,000 home in Miami
- Friends of Carlos Salinas de Gortari, perhaps the most corrupt individual, a former Mexican President, who exiled himself to Ireland, and only returned when the PRI, returned to office.
- Facilitation of Federal Forces, allowing drug traffic at MDX
- Read above, about the businesses Luna's wife bought in South Florida.
- La Barbie, giving him extortion
- So much more, posted before
All I an say, is Good Riddance -
Nothing exists above the violent Narcos, than the federal, state and municipal governments, slicking the palms for those who wish to export their evil.
Santiago Nieto, the head of Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit, said a federal judge took bribes to rule in favor of the violent Jalisco cartel and then used a lawyer’s office to buy vehicles and send as much as $2 million to the United States.
Another gang stole fuel from government pipelines and set up trucking companies to use the diesel and launder profits from sales of fuel to third parties.
Nieto revealed that a sex ring trafficked as many as 2,000 South American women into prostitution in Mexico over the course of a decade. They used front companies and websites to charge for their services and distribute profits.
He said there were over $100 million in suspicious deposits and transfers to accounts linked to the former head of the country’s state-owned oil company.
Nieto said government money was channeled into a web of companies that sent about $2 million, and perhaps much more, to relatives of the country’s former top security official.
That official, former Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna, is being held pending trial in the United States for allegedly taking bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Nieto said a web of companies got tens of millions in Mexican government contracts for security software, and later channeled some of the money through Panama to Garcia Luna, who lived in Miami, Florida after leaving public service in 2012.
Garcia Luna, 51, was indicted on three counts of cocaine trafficking conspiracy and a false statement charge in New York. He waived his right to a detention hearing in Dallas a week after the federal case against him was made public in New York City.
In reply to this post by El Doble J
Think he knows where a lot of "bodies" are hidden?
Former federal security secretary Genaro García Luna has entered into negotiations with the United States government to change his not guilty plea on charges of drug trafficking conspiracy and making a false declaration to U.S. immigration.
Papers filed on Monday in a federal court said the defendant and the United States government are “engaged in plea negotiations, which they believe are likely to result in a disposition of this case without trial.”
García, security chief between 2006 and 2012 in the government of former president Felipe Calderón, pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges that he allowed the Sinaloa Cartel to operate in exchange for multimillion-dollar bribes and that he lied to United States authorities about his past criminal activity when applying for U.S. citizenship in 2018.
By changing his plea to guilty and cooperating with U.S. authorities to provide them with information, the 51-year-old former official, who was arrested in Dallas, Texas, in December, will likely spend less time behind bars than if he were convicted at trial.
García’s lawyers are expected to file an application for him to be released on bail but U.S. prosecutors have indicated that they would oppose any such request because the former official’s wealth and alleged cartel links make him an extremely high flight risk.
According to the U.S. indictment unsealed last month, Sinaloa Cartel bagmen personally delivered payments on two occasions to García using briefcases that contained between US $3 million and $5 million.
The allegations first surfaced in November 2018 at the trial of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán when former Sinaloa Cartel operations chief Jesús Zambada said that he gave García US $6 million in the mid-2000s.
García allegedly provided the cartel with security that allowed it to move cocaine to the northern border and supplied confidential information about government investigations and other criminal organizations.
Former president Calderón has denied any knowledge of the ex-secretary’s alleged criminal complicity.
President López Obrador said last week that the arrest of García was proof that “El Chapo” had people working for him in the Calderón government but he has indicated that his government won’t launch an investigation into the ex-president “because it would create the perception that we’re doing it for political purposes.”
Source: Milenio (sp)
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