(CNN Spanish) — In Mexico, public opinion is following the trial initiated in the United States against Genaro García Luna with great interest. The former Secretary of Public Security is accused of corruption and drug trafficking. There is expectation regarding the possible disclosures of information that may arise during the process and whose scope and implications are still unknown.
Security and drug trafficking have historically been two of the main challenges on the bilateral agenda between Mexico and the United States…issues that now seem to be under scrutiny due to the US trial of former Secretary García Luna.
The former attorney general of Mexico Ignacio Morales Lechuga does not believe that the process against the former official calls into question the cooperation between the two countries in terms of security.
“Now, the conclusions or repercussions in the face of a highly politicized government such as Mexico’s will surely take advantage of the moment to establish additional responsibilities to previous administrations,” he says.
Others, for their part, consider that the trial has great political relevance for the country.
“I believe that not only the sentence is going to be relevant, but the documents and testimonies that appear during the course of this trial, and that could not only implicate Genaro García Luna, but could also implicate some other officials who were at the same level or perhaps were his superiors in the government when he exercised these functions”, affirms José Antonio Ortega of the Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice.
García Luna served as Mexico’s Secretary of Public Security during the presidency of Felipe Calderón, between 2006 and 2012.
Seven years after leaving office, in 2019, he was arrested in Dallas, Texas, and accused of accepting million-dollar bribes from the Sinaloa cartel, the criminal organization founded by drug trafficker Joaquín, “El Chapo” Guzmán, also imprisoned in the United States. .
García Luna has always pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Guillermo Valdés was —during the García Luna administration— director of the now extinct Center for Investigation and National Security, Cisen, a civilian intelligence agency of the Mexican government:
“We had counterintelligence, for example, for the case of corruption in the Secretary of Public Security. An investigation was carried out, some issues of corruption of security officials were found, but Genaro could never be linked to those acts of corruption in the Secretary of Public Security. There was not, and I do say this and I admit it, a precise investigation to say whether or not this man is linked to ‘El Chapo’”.
Some experts consider that the case of García Luna has revealed the fissures in the Mexican security policy and through which the scourge of corruption continues to penetrate.
“Here one of the key issues is precisely that different ways of generating and implementing a security policy have to be established, that in the country we have not been able to build strategic and operational schemes that allow diversifying the implementation of this policy and that in This measure also reduces the risks of co-optation and corruption, as well as infiltration into security structures,” says Armando Rodríguez, a specialist in National Security issues.
But beyond the repercussions that the García Luna trial could have for Mexico, the truth is that it is still difficult to understand how one of the most powerful police officers the country has ever had and who was in charge, at the time, of fighting drug cartels, is being tried in the United States for drug trafficking.
A former official who, if found guilty, could spend many years in prison or face life in prison.