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Mexico files lawsuit in U.S. against former security chief linked to Sinaloa Cartel

Genaro García Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency from 2001 to 2005, but U.S. prosecutors say the Sinaloa cartel bribed García Luna throughout his time in government.

MEXICO CITY — Mexico has launched a lawsuit in Miami, Florida against former security chief Genaro García Luna and a network of companies run by him and his associates, hoping to recover illegally obtained assets, Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) said on Tuesday.

Ex-Security Minister García Luna pled not guilty last year to U.S. charges involving a multimillion-dollar bribery scheme allegedly designed to boost the Sinaloa cartel once headed by jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

García Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency from 2001 to 2005, was secretary of public security from 2006 to 2012, and was once considered a leader in Mexico’s efforts to combat drug trafficking.

But U.S. prosecutors say the Sinaloa cartel bribed García Luna throughout his time in government to ensure safe passage for its drugs, obtain information about rival cartels, and learn about Mexican probes into its activities.

Mexico's Secretary of Public Safety Genaro Garcia Luna attends a press conference in Mexico City on Oct. 8, 2010.Marco Ugarte / AP file

The UIF said the lawsuit, the Mexican agency’s first in the United States, covers 39 companies and trusts belonging to García Luna, his associates or family members.

“The litigation alleges that the defendants are members of a large group of companies created and used by García Luna and his co-conspirators to hide resources derived from acts of corruption,” UIF said in a statement.

García Luna could not be immediately reached for comment.

García Luna, who is in jail, had been living in Florida prior to his December 2019 arrest in Dallas.

UIF said the case was presented in a Florida court since the state is “where a significant number of companies and properties associated with acts of political corruption and money laundering that make up the litigation were identified”.

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