Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has called the case against former Chief of Public Security Genaro García Luna emblematic of the institutional corruption of his predecessors, especially Felipe Calderón, a longtime political adversary.
However, López Obrador was furious back on October 15th, 2020, one year after García Luna’s arrest in Dallas, when U.S. authorities detained a former Mexican defense secretary, Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, moments after he landed with his family at Los Angeles International Airport.
Like García Luna, Cienfuegos was charged with collaborating with Mexican drug cartels while in office.
López Obrador, facing fierce backlash from the powerful military, denounced the charges against Cienfuegos and demanded that Washington release the retired general. The Trump administration ultimately dropped the charges and returned Cienfuegos to Mexico, where he went free.
In Mexico, López Obrador — who once assailed the deployment of the military against drug cartels — has been harshly criticized for greatly expanding the military’s role in internal security.
In fact, many Mexicans think he is repeating the same mistakes as Calderón, by militarizing the country.