Mexico calls for DEA internal probe of “fabricated” case against minister

Mexico's defense Minister General Salvador Cienfuegos attends an event at a military zone in Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) should carry out an internal investigation into the conduct of its case against former defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos.

Lopez Obrador said the investigation should look into who within DEA “fabricated” the case, after the Mexican attorney general’s recent decision not to press charges against Cienfuegos.

Lopez Obrador said the hundreds of pages of evidence the DEA provided, which he controversially ordered to be shared publicly, was riddled with inconsistencies.

“I am not going to go to any international body, but I respectfully believe that agency should do an internal investigation and clarify what happened, who made the file, who gave the order to apply it,” said Lopez Obrador, referring to the DEA.

Cienfuegos, a member of former President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government, was arrested in October at Los Angeles international airport and accused by U.S. prosecutors of collaborating with one of Mexico’s most powerful drug cartels.

He returned to Mexico in November after a federal judge granted a U.S. government request to drop drug charges against him and turn the investigation over to Mexico.

The Mexican attorney general’s office said earlier in January the U.S. case was not strong enough to warrant charges against Cienfuegos, a decision that Lopez Obrador publicly backed.

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