the lawyer of the Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin «Chapo» Guzman, whose trial began Tuesday in a court in New York, said that the Sinaloa cartel paid millions of bribes to the current President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and its predecessor Felipe Calderón.
Lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman told the jury as the real head of the Sinaloa cartel Ismael «el Mayo» Zambada, who never spent a day in prison and remains at large, and that has paid «to the current and the former President of Mexico… millions of dollars in bribes».
Twitter now former President, Felipe Calderón, said is false what Lichtman said.
«They are absolutely false and reckless statements which said attorney Joaquin made ‘Chapo’ Guzman.» Neither he, nor the Sinaloa cartel nor any other made payments to my person», published Calderon.
The spokesman of the Government of Mexico, Eduardo Sánchez, also published a message denying the accusation.
«The Government of @EPN pursued, captured and extradited the criminal Joaquin Guzman Loera. Statements attributed to his lawyer are completely false and defamatory,»he said.
Chapo Guzman is accused of leading the Sinaloa cartel and turn it into the largest criminal organization on the planet, with the shipment of more than 155 tons of cocaine to the United States for 25 years.
«This is a landmark case for the Government, not only for the alleged crimes of the accused but because this is a case for setting an example in the United States war against international drug trafficking», told AFP René Sotorrio, a lawyer in Miami who defends to the Brothers Rivera Maradiaga, Honduran cartel Los Cachiros exlideres, who could testify against the Chapo.
Considering that you can escape or ordering attacks against witnesses who cooperate with the Government, federal judge Brian Cogan refused the order of the Chapo to greet and give «perhaps a hug» from a few seconds to his young Emma Coronel spouse this Tuesday, at the start of the process.
Advocates of the Chapo, escaped twice from a Mexican prison in 2001 and 2015, had asked the judge that it allowed this «humanitarian gesture» between spouses, who the Government prohibits talking on the phone or be personally from his extradition to new York nearly two years ago.
During the process, which will last more than four months, the jury will have to decide whether or not the Chapo, 61 years, considered a major drug trafficker in the world after the death of the Colombian Pablo Escobar, is guilty of 11 offences of trafficking and distribution of drugs, possession of weapons and money laundering.
His conviction can result in imprisonment.
The Prosecutor’s office, which prepares the case years ago, ensures that the criminal empire of the Chapo, with tentacles in America, Asia and Europe, had a turnover of about 14,000 million dollars. Authorities could never seize a weight.
The Chapo pleads not guilty, but the Government has presented mountains of evidence: more than 300,000 pages of documents and audio recordings at least 117,000, plus hundreds of photos and videos.