US Attorney General Accuses García Luna of Press, Witness Intimidation
By KELIN DILLON
On Wednesday, June 15, the U.S. Attorney General’s Office filed an in limine motion against former Mexican Secretary of Public Security Genaro García Luna, alleging the controversial Mexican official had attempted to silence journalists investigating his purported corruption and involvement in illicit cocaine trafficking, charges he was later arrested on in the United States.
The U.S. Attorney General’s Office went on to further accuse García Luna of engaging in intimidation tactics against witnesses who could potentially testify against him at his upcoming trial. According to the U.S. Department of Justice “numerous witnesses, including several former high-ranking members of the Sinaloa Cartel, are expected to testify about bribes paid to the accused in exchange for his protection.”
“(There is) evidence of the defendant’s attempts to silence journalists through harassment and bribery, as well as his desire to manipulate witnesses to prevent the admission of evidence or for the defendant to argue on issues that are irrelevant or could confuse the issues, mislead the jury or result in unfair prejudice to the government,” read the motion.
“From approximately 2008 to 2013, the defendant subjected a journalist to a multi-year campaign of harassment and threats as a result of his investigation of the defendant,” continued the U.S. Attorney General. “The government is also seeking to introduce evidence that, around 2009 or 2010, the defendant used money obtained from a corrupt scheme to pay bribes to a news organization to prevent journalists from the organization from publishing negative stories about him.”
The U.S. Attorney General’s Office went on to detail discussions held between García Luna and an unnamed individual surrounding his desire to harm potential witnesses as recently as 2020, including a sting conversation held between the former head of Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Security and a member of the U.S. government after García Luna was led to believe he was speaking with a member of the Russian mafia.
Now, with the in limine motion, the U.S. government looks to make this discussion as evidence ruled admissible in court against García Luna, to be used as proof at trial that he engaged in the crimes he is accused of committing.
Back in Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) requested that the United States to publicly release the aforementioned audio recordings, asking for nothing to be hidden throughout García Luna’s judicial process.