These were the reasons for the Prosecutor’s Office to exonerate Salvador Cienfuegos

These were the reasons for the Prosecutor’s Office to exonerate Salvador Cienfuegos

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The Attorney General’s Office (FGR) published the proceedings where they detail the procedures that led to the decision that they would not require criminal action against retired general Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda.

Among the documents is the agreement not to exercise criminal action, with research folder number FED / SEIDO / UEITA-NAY / 0000821/2020, which documents the reasons for the prosecution to exonerate the retired general for investigations of Organized crime for the purposes of crimes against health, collection and trafficking of weapons and operations with resources of illicit origin.

First, they note that most of the evidence provided by the US authorities in 743 pages are conversations via BlackBerry, in which subjects, supposedly Cienfuegos and possible drug traffickers, exchanged information that would incriminate him.

However, the FGR pointed out, “it is essential, as our legal system requires, that in principle the mechanism for obtaining this information is clear so that it can be legally assessed”, that is, If it is not clear that it was obtained with judicial authorization, said information will have no legal value in Mexican territoryTherefore, “it is null and void and cannot have any effect on the people to whom it is attributed.”

They also added that the response of the representative of the North American authority “makes it clear that the alleged authorization of a US court was with respect to communication devices of drug retailers that operated in the State of Nevada, same as It is not corroborated, as it does not provide the documentation that proves it”.

On the other hand, it was indicated in the file, “the authorization was to intercept the device and for that purpose, it is worth noting that it was never specified which authority was the one that allegedly granted that permission, nor was the documentation provided to prove who granted it, what makes it impossible to give any legal value to any telephone intervention that in those terms has been carried out”.

However, they clarified that the inexistence of said authorization is not affirmed, “Simply that it was not provided as part of the mechanisms for obtaining evidence that was requested”. For this reason, it was legally impossible to make legal use of communications related to it through international legal assistance.

Former Secretary of Defense of Mexico, Salvador Cienfuegos (Photo: REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton)

Former Secretary of Defense of Mexico, Salvador Cienfuegos (Photo: REUTERS / Shannon Stapleton) 

In this context, Mexican authorities revealed that the conversations are insufficient for it to be possible to accredit an illegal, as there is no absolute certainty that Cienfuegos would have been responsible for said messages, and for the alleged protection of criminal activities in exchange for bribes.

In addition to the above, they assured that the so-called BlackBerry, which allow the PIN communication system, do not have data or evidence that they have been used by the former secretary, “As reported by the Ministry of National Defense itself.”

In this regard, they assured that these messages were extracted in a period between 2015 and 2017, but this was never made known to the Mexican authorities, since “if it had done so, the information could have been successfully requested from the Mexican cell phone concessionaires.”

However, it is too late to carry out these actions, since now “It is not feasible to obtain for the limited time periods in which the concessionaires must, according to the law, keep this type of information”.

According to the document, the concessionaires are obliged to keep the data for consultation and delivery to the authorities for 12 months, in addition to 12 extras in storage systems, that is, telephone information is protected for 24 months.

In addition, they assured that the Sedena reported that does not have a record or documentary evidence that telephone numbers and cell phones have been assigned of the Black Berry brand or their relatives.

These were the reasons for the Prosecutor's Office to exonerate Salvador Cienfuegos (Photo: REUTERS / Henry Romero)

These were the reasons for the Prosecutor’s Office to exonerate Salvador Cienfuegos (Photo: REUTERS / Henry Romero) 

Regarding the messages in which the alleged criminals speak of the general through a description, the Mexican authorities assured that it doesn’t really match the physiognomy of the former civil servant.

“If since then the physiognomy of the person described does not essentially agree with the real physiognomy, it can be validly concluded that it is not the same person,” they assured.

In the conversations, the supposed “H-9” gives some characteristics of the military in retirement, in which he is described as “short, old white.”

Regarding the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin, they assured that “the existence of a prior crime or some act that renders the resources unlawful is essential, which once they are put into circulation within the financial system or are carry out some actions that fit into these guiding verbs, is when you are in the presence of this crime.

However, they pointed out that “It is not known that the accused has participated in the commission of any crime and, therefore, there are no reasonable indications that make us presume the illegality of the resources that it may have, in the absence of proof data about whether it has received resources from the criminal group already indicated.

This, after making known that the defendant presented his patrimonial and tax declarations presented during fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017, same where it is noted that in his patrimony in goods or pecuniary an airplane was not incorporated or his money increased abnormally.

In the image, the former Mexican Secretary of Defense of Mexico Salvador Cienfuegos (Photo: EFE / Paolo Aguilar / File)

In the image, the former Mexican Secretary of Defense of Mexico Salvador Cienfuegos (Photo: EFE / Paolo Aguilar / File) 

They also considered that the lexicon attributed to Cienfuegos in the shipments, “far from the expression of a prepared person, who, regardless of the high position he held, has had a high academic preparation, even at the Master’s level, which makes it unlikely that he expressed himself in the terms in which he appears in the messages he supposedly issued.

It was for the above reasons that it was legally established that “the legal elements necessary for the configuration of the crime of organized crime are in no way gathered, nor is the illicit operations with resources of illicit origin configured ”.

They added that, for the accreditation of any of these crimes, “a specific action is required of who is considered accused, because by their very nature, such crimes cannot be committed by omission but by direct action that entails the will to commit themselves, which in the specific case is not presented ”.

Consequently, they assured, They do not have data or evidence to prove that Cienfuegos belonged to or provided support or protection to any criminal organization.

For everything previously spilled, the FGR decreed the non-exercise of criminal action, “Since for this Social Representation of the Federation there are no legal elements for the configuration of the crimes for which it was initiated, for the reasons, arguments and grounds that have been cited throughout this document.”

Ben Oakley
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