Jury selection to begin in US trial for Mexico’s former top cop

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(NEW YORK) — Jury selection is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York federal court in the corruption trial of Genaro Garcia Luna, once head of the Mexican equivalent of the FBI, who has been accused by the United States of accepting million-dollar bribes from the cartel once controlled by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Garcia Luna, the former Mexican secretary of public security, was arrested in Dallas in 2019 and charged with narcotics trafficking conspiracy for assisting the Sinaloa cartel.

The charges resulted from the trial of El Chapo when a witness testified he had given Garcia Luna briefcases of cash.

“As alleged, for nearly two decades, Garica Luna betrayed those he was sworn to protect by accepting bribes from members of the Sinaloa cartel to facilitate their crimes and empower their criminal enterprise,” said Seth DuCharme, the acting U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn at the time the charges were announced.

According to the indictment, Garcia Luna received millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel in exchange for providing protection for its drug trafficking.

In exchange for the bribes, prosecutors said Garcia Luna abused his public position by allowing the cartel to obtain safe passage for its drug shipments, and by providing sensitive law enforcement information about investigations into the cartel and information about rival drug cartels.

Between 2002 and 2007, Garcia Luna allegedly aided at least six cocaine shipments totaling more than 50,000 kilograms, or over 110,231 pounds.

The defense cast Garcia Luna as a dedicated civil servant dedicated to fighting the drug trade, according to court filings.

El Chapo was convicted in 2019.

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