Mexico: Mexico Army’s Expanding Role Protects Military After Ex-Defense Minister’s Arrest

Following the stunning arrest of Mexico’s former defense minister on drug charges in the U.S., Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is backing away from a cleanup of the Mexican army and has shifted some blame to U.S. officials.

On Oct. 17, two days after the detention of Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, the president began to question the role within Mexico of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the agency that requested the arrest of the former defense minister as he and his family landed in Los Angeles. Mr. López Obrador blamed previous Mexican presidents for allowing the DEA “to do whatever they wanted,” and said the U.S. agency should investigate itself for its working ties to high-ranking Mexican officials later accused of corruption.

He also defended the Mexican armed forces broadly, saying that even if Gen. Cienfuegos were proved guilty, “that doesn’t involve the entire Defense Ministry.” On Tuesday, Mr. López Obrador also expressed confidence in the current defense minister.

The original full article can be found at

(Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press)

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