Two former Mexican presidents publicly denied taking bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel. The statements came after the legal defense for Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera made contrary claims this week.
The drug lord is facing several money laundering and drug trafficking charges at a federal trial in New York. In his opening statement, defense attorney Jeffrey Lichtman spoke of bribes “including the very top, the current president of Mexico and the former.”
Soon after the statements became public, Mexico’s government issued a statement denying the allegations. Eduardo Sanchez, the spokesman for current Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said the statements were false and “defamatory.”
El gobierno de @EPN persiguió, capturó y extraditó al criminal Joaquín Guzmán Loera. Las afirmaciones atribuidas a su abogado son completamente falsas y difamatorias
— Eduardo Sánchez H. (@ESanchezHdz) November 13, 2018
Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon took to social media to personally deny the allegations, claiming that neither El Chapo or the Sinaloa Cartel paid him bribes.
Son absolutamente falsas y temerarias las afirmaciones que se dice realizó el abogado de Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzmán. Ni él, ni el cártel de Sinaloa ni ningún otro realizó pagos a mi persona.
— Felipe Calderón (@FelipeCalderon) November 13, 2018
Under Guzman’s leadership, the Sinaloa Cartel became the largest drug trafficking organization in the world with influence in every major U.S. city.
The allegations against Pena Nieto are not new. In 2016, Breitbart News reported on an investigation by Mexican journalists which revealed how Juarez Cartel operators funneled money into the 2012 presidential campaign. The investigation was carried out by Mexican award-winning journalist Carmen Aristegui and her team. The subsequent scandal became known as “Monexgate” for the cash cards that were given out during Peña Nieto’s campaign. The allegations against Pena Nieto went largely unreported by U.S. news outlets.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.