Genaro García Luna is accused of leading a criminal organization.
Photo: ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP / Getty Images
The prosecutors who make up the evidence for the trial of the former Mexican Public Security Secretary, Genaro Garcia Luna, they fear that possible viable witnesses to identify in the documents they prepare will be persecuted or victims of attacks.
For this reason they asked the judge Brian Cogan approve measures to protect information and defer the disclosure of sensitive material that allows potential witnesses to be located and put them in danger. The District Attorney for the Eastern District of New York approved the motion.
“The materials … provide information that could be used to identify potential trial witnesses, whose identities have not been disclosed to the defendant, his attorney, or the public.”The letter signed by the acting prosecutor of the District warns, Mark J. Lesko, accompanied by her collaborators, the prosecutors Michael Robotti, Ryan Harris, Erin Reid Y Felipe Pilmar.
Add that witnesses and their families could face “serious security risks”, if your identity is revealed at this time. The request is to deliver until the last moment to the defense and the accused the information of the “identifiable” characters.
The judge’s decision was in two parts, the first one rejected the request to delay the delivery of certain material, because the requested date had expired, that is, March 20, 2021, but Judge Cogan supports protecting other information that reveal the identity of potential witnesses.
“These twin concerns of witness safety and witness intimidation, coupled with the need to protect ongoing investigations, provide ‘good cause’ to delay the discovery (of the information) in this case,” says the Judge Cogan.
Garcia’s defense, led by the lawyer Cesar de Castro, could not justify why the delay in the disclosure of certain information could affect his client, when there is no start date for the trial, said Judge Cogan.
“Although it is understandable that the defendant cannot review the specific material in question, he has not explained why he would be harmed by a deferred disclosure”, indicates the position of the judge. “No trial date has been set and there is no indication that a deferred disclosure affects the defendant’s due process right to present a defense.”
Prosecutors, as they have done at other times to justify their requests, recall that García Luna was a senior Mexican government official between 2001 and 2012, particularly from 2001 to 2005, when the head of the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) of Mexico, but between 2006 and 2012 he served as Secretary of Public Security, which allowed him to control the Mexican Federal Police.
Both periods correspond to the governments of the members of the National Action Party (PAN), Vicente Fox Y Felipe Calderón, respectively.
It is noted that during that time, García Luna collaborated with the Sinaloa Cartel, from which he would have received “millions of dollars,” according to witnesses in the trial of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, leader of that criminal organization.
“While in public office in Mexico, the defendant used his official positions to help the Sinaloa Cartel, one of the largest and most violent drug trafficking organizations in the world, in exchange for multi-million dollar bribes,” prosecutors say.
The accusations against García Luna are for conspiring to traffic drugs to the United States and leading a criminal organization, accusations similar to those faced by Guzmán Loera that led to life imprisonment, but the former official is also accused of lying to federal officials when he applied for the “green card”, he said he had not committed “criminal acts”. The former official pleaded not guilty.
So far, prosecutors have turned over most of the evidence to Garcia Luna’s defense team, including 950,000 pages of documents and thousands of other records of conversations.
The next hearing on the case is June 23.