MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – SEPTEMBER 16 : President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto (R) and Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda watch the annual military parade at Zocalo main square, in Mexico City, Mexico on September 16, 2016. Mexico is marking the 206th anniversary of its independence. (Photo by Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Former Mexican Defence Minister Salvador Cienfuegos has been arrested in the US at the request of the Drug Enforcement Agency(DEA).
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he was informed by the US ambassador to Mexico that Cienfuegos – defense chief from 2012-2018 – was detained at Los Angeles airport.
“The consul in Los Angeles will inform me of the charges in the next few hours. We will offer the consular assistance to which he is entitled.”
However, the Wall Street Journal, quoting some senior Mexican officials said Cienfuegos was held at the request of DEA.
He was in company of his family on arrival in Los Angeles at the time of his arrest.
Cienfuegos headed the defense ministry under former President Enrique Pena Nieto.
He is the second former Mexican minister who is detained in the United States.
Ex-Public Security Minister Genaro Garcia Luna was arrested in Texas in December 2019 on charges of taking huge bribes to allow the notorious Sinaloa cartel to ship drugs into the US.