Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Andrés Manuel López Obrador Reuters / HENRY ROMERO

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) questioned the U.S. judiciary for postponing the sentencing of Genaro García Luna, Mexico's former Security Minister (2006-2012) and who was found guilty of drug trafficking and corruption in the United States.

A judge from the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Brooklyn approved a request from García Luna's lawyers to postpone the sentencing until October 9, marking the fourth delay so far.

During his morning press conference, López Obrador expressed his surprise and frustration over the repeated postponement:

"The only thing that catches my attention is that they keep postponing and postponing and postponing the final verdict, they are starting to look like the judges here, who shelve or store away cases."

In February 2023, García Luna, aged 54, was found guilty of five charges, including being the head of a criminal enterprise (the Sinaloa Cartel), conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute cocaine in the United States, and conspiracy to import the drug.

He was also convicted of making false statements to U.S. authorities when he applied for citizenship.

Despite the severity of the charges, which could lead to a minimum of 20 years in prison or a maximum of life imprisonment, López Obrador refrained from commenting on what the appropriate punishment should be: "it's up to the judges."

García Luna's case is particularly significant in Mexico as he was a key figure in the administration of former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), who is López Obrador's major political rival. López Obrador highlighted the gravity of the case, pointing to the infiltration of criminal organizations and drug traffickers into the Calderón administration, which he described as a "narco-government."

García Luna had been living in Florida since 2012 before being arrested in Dallas, Texas, in 2019. He remained in custody until his trial in January 2023.

López Obrador supported the idea of García Luna being treated as a protected witness in the United States to provide more information and ensure such events do not recur:

"He could be a (protected witness), it would be good for him to talk. Regardless of whether they reduce his sentence, it would help the country a lot to ensure that those things never happen again."

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