‘El Chapo’ paid former Mexican president $100 million bribe for vanguard news today ,
Jan 15 (Reuters) – Accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman once paid a $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto , a former associate testified on Tuesday that he previously told U.S. authorities.
Alex Cifuentes, who has described himself as Guzman’s onetime right-hand man, discussed the alleged bribe under
cross-examination by one of Guzman’s lawyers in Brooklyn federal court. Asked if he told authorities in 2016 that Guzman arranged the bribe, he answered, “That’s right.”
Cifuentes said he told prosecutors at a later meeting, last year, that he was no longer sure of the exact amounts of the bribes, but did not elaborate.
Pena Nieto has previously denied taking bribes from drug traffickers.
Reuters could not immediately reach Pena Nieto for comment. His former spokesman and other former officials did not immediately respond to messages requesting comment.
Pena Nieto was president of Mexico from December 2012 until November 2018. He previously served as governor of the state that includes Mexico City.
Guzman, 61, has been on trial since November. He was extradited to the United States in 2017 to face charges of trafficking cocaine, heroin and other drugs into the country as leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Captured by Pena Nieto’s government in February 2014, Guzman broke out of prison for a second time some 17 months later, escaping through a mile-long tunnel dug right into in his cell.
Colombian-born Cifuentes is one of about a dozen witnesses who have so far testified against Guzman after striking deals with U.S. prosecutors, in a trial that has provided a window into the secretive world of the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organization.