Mexican Government ‘Profoundly Upset’ After DEA Arrests Fmr. Secretary of Defense

Mexico’s top diplomat publicly shared that his country’s government is “profoundly upset” after the DEA arrested a former secretary of defense for drug charges without official warning.

During a news conference, Mexican Foreign Relations Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he expressed discontent toward the U.S. Ebrard claimed that U.S. diplomats had told him they could not release information about the sealed grand jury indictment. The diplomat expressed his unhappiness anyway. The official added that Mexico’s government was ready to provide consular assistance to the jailed general.

Earlier this month, the DEA arrested General Salvador “El Padrino” Cienfuegos on drug charges–alleging he worked with and provided official protection to members of the Beltran Leyva Cartel (aka “H2”). Authorities arrested Cienfuegos as he landed in California. A federal judge ruled he will be held without bond.

The arrest sent shockwaves throughout Mexico. Cienfuegos served under former President Enrique Pena Nieto from a rival party to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO). Cienfuegos is the second top official to face arrest in recent months. In December 2019, U.S. authorities arrested Genaro Garcia Luna,  Mexico’s former Public Security Secretary, on drug charges. While Garcia Luna and Cienfuegos did not serve under AMLO, their arrests reinforce the perception of corruption at the highest levels in Mexico City.

The latest arrest is still a headache for AMLO as his administration relies heavily on the military to address cartel and public security issues.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at

Tony Aranda from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report

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