A jury in New York found Gennaro Garcia Luna guilty of taking bribes from the cartel. NPR’s Steve Inskeep talks with Maria Hinojosa, founder of Futuro Studios and co-host of the podcast. United States v. Garcia Luna.
STEVE INSKIPP, anchor.
A man named Genaro Garcia Luna was once a high official in Mexico. And now the jury in the USA found him guilty of secret life.
LEILA FADEL, presenter.
The jury agreed that Garcia Luna took bribes from drug cartels. He did this while working with US authorities trying to crack down on the cartels. He was also found guilty of transporting tons of illegal drugs to the United States
INSKEEP. Let’s talk to a journalist who covered this case all the time. Maria Hinojosa, longtime host of Latino USA and co-host of the USA vs. Garcia Luna podcast, about the case. Good morning.
MARIA HINOXOSA: Good morning, Steve.
INSKEEP. What did Garcia Luna do?
HYNOCHOSA: Well, he was found guilty by this jury yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn. Same judge, same courtroom as El Chapo. the difference is that Gennaro García Luna was the top police officer in Mexico’s Felipe Calderon presidency, a cabinet security officer. And he was working for the DEA and all the top US government agencies, fighting the so-called war on drugs in Mexico, getting millions of dollars from the US taxpayers to fight this war, except he was also working in Sinaloa. cartel He was found guilty of being a member of that cartel. It was incredibly dramatic. But unfortunately, Steve doesn’t get a lot of interest from most of the American mainstream media, which is quite disappointing.
INSKEEP. But you were there, of course, and covered it all along, too. What was the practical effect of a high-ranking Mexican official taking a bribe from a cartel? How did it affect the United States, for example?
HINOJOSA: Well, the United States says it has the highest level of intelligence and says the DEA is the premier law enforcement agency fighting this war on drugs. How could the United States with all its intelligence not know or choose not to know, then we the taxpayers should know exactly what is going on with the DEA. And what is this war on drugs all about? I mean, the truth is, right now, Genaro Garcia Luna probably won’t have a chance to get out of prison. He may spend the rest of his life in prison. Will this affect drug trafficking between the US and Mexico? No. And of course, obviously, this is the country that consumes these drugs.
INSKEEP. Were you able to find out how some of these drugs were getting into the United States and how, in fact, US law enforcement was unable to stop them?
HYNOCHOSA: You know, most Americans would just rather watch this on Narcos and not actually deal with real life. So we, my partner Penili Ramirez and I, got in a car and went to Queens, and we saw the train tracks where the trains arrived with soybeans loaded with cocaine, which was distributed from Queens all over New York and Chicago. We heard how Mexico City’s airport is also used as a major transportation hub for the Sinaloa cartel. This is all happening.
But again, Steve, how is it possible that this is happening without the US, as we say in Spanish, (speaking Spanish) without them realizing it? So, to me, this is not just an accusation by a high official in the Mexican government. It’s an indictment of the US, the DEA and the intelligence we trust. But how can we trust it when they were working with Gennaro Garcia Luna?
INSKEEP. Maria Hinojosa, longtime host of Latino USA and co-host of the USA vs. Garcia Luna podcast.
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