A government witness in the trial of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera testified Tuesday that he also paid a multi-million dollar bribe to some former underling of Mexico’s president-elect.
On his third day on the witness stand at the trial in federal court in Brooklyn, Jesus Zambada explained giving payoffs to two officers at the Mexican authorities in the mid-2000s.
One was Gabriel Regino, who at the time was operating for then-Mexico City mayor — and present Mexico President-elect — Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Zambada stated he compensated Regino “a couple million” on behalf of his brother, who prosecutors state runs the Sinaloa Cartel with Guzman.
Regino, who currently acts as a criminal law professor in Mexico, chose to Twitter to deny that the allegations, calling them”fictitious” in Spanish.
Zambada also hailed handing over a bag with $3 million indoors Genero Garcia Luna in 2005 or 2006, when he had been manager of Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency. He said he gave him millions a couple of years afterwards, when he was appointed secretary of public safety.
Efforts to achieve Garcia Luna by Reuters weren’t profitable.
Zambada created the claims being cross-examined by Guzman’s attorney William Purpura.
Lawyers for Guzman claim he has been”framed” as a drug lord, and the actual chief of the Sinaloa Cartel and its own multi-billion dollar drug industry is Zambada’s brother, Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. “El Mayo” remains on the loose, and probably somewhere in the hills, his brother insisted.
Zambada has testified that”El Chapo” along with his brother were spouses, and has depicted Guzman as a bloodthirsty hothead whose favourite weapon was a diamond-encrusted pistol. On Monday, he recounted his brother telling him that Guzman purchased a rival murdered after the rival’d refused to shake his hands at a 2004 meeting.
Guzman, 61, is standing trial on a 17-count indictment on drug trafficking, murder conspiracy and money laundering charges. He faces life in prison if convicted.
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In Mexico, he’d been sentenced to 20 years behind bars on drug trafficking charges in 1993, but escaped the Puente Grande Federal Prison at Guadalajara at 2001. He was recaptured in February, 2014, escaped in July, 2015, and has been captured again in January, 2016.