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Witness: El Chapo bribed former Mexican president

by Kiley Crossland
Posted 1/16/19, 12:05 pm

Mexican drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman paid a $100 million bribe to the former president of Mexico, a Colombian drug trafficker testified in court on Tuesday. Alex Cifuentes told the New York courtroom at Guzman’s trial for murder and drug conspiracy that the kingpin successfully bribed President Enrique Peña Nieto to call off a manhunt in 2012. The money allegedly changed hands after Peña Nieto was elected but before he took office. A spokesman for the former president, who left office in 2018, called the claim “false and defamatory.”

When attorneys confronted Cifuentes about confusion surrounding the details of the bribe, he acknowledged he first spoke with prosecutors about the allegations in 2016, when he began cooperating with U.S. authorities. “By 2018, suddenly the numbers became fuzzy?” Guzman’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, asked. “Yes, sir,” the witness responded.

The trial has included numerous allegations of bribes or attempts to bribe high-level officials in Mexico and Colombia, including another former Mexican president, Felipe Calderón. If convicted, Guzman could spend the rest of his life in a U.S. prison.

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Kiley Crossland

Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 01/16/2019 02:12 pm

    The witnesses in this trial are all maneuvering for reduced sentences for their own crimes. The claims of what El Chapo did and who was involved will grow more and more. Before long we’ll hear that El Chapo sent a billion dollars to the Pope to gain his assistance. 

    The real problem with the drug cartels, as I see it, is US. WE are the customers  that keep the cartels in business. Too many of our fellow Americans tell us they do no harm to anyone with their drug use, too many who don’t use drugs are willing to be lenient or look the other way. My own sister defended her son’s drug use and involvement in drug trafficking until the day he died  

    Drug use is NOT a private matter, or a victimless crime.