U.S. Trial Witness Claims Fmr. Mexican President Told Cops to Support El Chapo

In this Jan. 8, 2016 file photo, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is made to face the press as he is escorted to a helicopter in handcuffs by Mexican soldiers and marines at a federal hangar in Mexico City, Mexico, following his recapture six months after escaping from a maximum security …
AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File

A former Mexican president allegedly told law enforcement leaders to side with El Chapo during a turf war, according to a witness in the U.S. trial of that country’s former top cop. The proceedings also alleged one of Mexico’s top newspapers, El Universal, took bribes for favorable coverage.

On Tuesday morning, Edgar Veytia, former Nayarit State Attorney General, testified that the top echelons of Mexico’s government told the law enforcement apparatus to side with El Chapo during a turf war with the Beltran Leyva Cartel. Veytia is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence in the U.S. for using his position to help the Beltran Leyva Cartel, actively working as a drug lord, and for taking multi-million dollar bribes.

Veytia is one of several witnesses taking the stand in the trial of Mexico’s former Secretary of Public Safety Genaro Garcia Luna. Luna is accused of taking large bribes from cartels and helping them, particularly the Sinaloa Cartel.

According to reporter Keegan Hamilton at the federal courthouse, a Nayarit security official went to a meeting with Garcia Luna and former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, where they were told to “take El Chapo’s side.”

The ultimate order from the top was to not intervene in the fight between the two cartels and not bother the organizations.

In addition to the corruption allegations, in recent days court documents and some testimony indicated to El Universal allegedly took significant bribes in exchange for positive coverage of Garcia Luna while distancing him from alleged cartel links.

As part of the evidence presented at trial, there were some receipts of payments made to El Universal by officials. In a story about the testimony, El Universal reported the receipt was for a tourism campaign and not related to any criminal activity, adding that no other evidence of wrongdoing was provided.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com


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