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U.S. says they could reopen prosecution against Cienfuegos if Mexico fails to do so

Mexico City, Mexico — On Friday, the United States said they could reopen its prosecution of Mexico’s former defense minister after Mexico said they found no cause for charges.

In a Friday statement, the Department of Justice spokeswoman, Nicole Navas Oxman said “the United States reserves the right to recommence its prosecution of Cienfuegos if the Government of Mexico fails to do so.”

The statement from the U.S. was made one day after Mexico announced it had found no cause to charge General Salvador Cienfuegos for any drug or money laundering crimes. Crimes that the United States had arrested Cienfuegos for at a Los Angeles airport in October of 2020.

The 72-year-old military man, who returned to Mexico in mid-November after being accused by the United States of ties to the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, was not found to have any ties to the cartel.

In a statement, the the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Mexico said “based on the reasoning and evidence in the corresponding folder, the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, through the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime Investigation, has determined the non-exercise of criminal action in favor of General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda.”

During his Friday morning press conference, Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that the file that the United States gave them on the Cienfuegos case will be released.