Former Mexican Defense Minister Arrested in the U.S.

U.S. officials arrested a former Mexican secretary of defense on drug charges on Thursday in Los Angeles, authorities said, a stunning development for a nation that reveres its armed forces and has relied on them to fight narco-traffickers.

The detention of former Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos was announced in a late-night tweet by Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard. The minister said he expected to be informed by Mexican consular officials of the charges in coming hours. A Mexican government official confirmed the arrest was requested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. He spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe information that was not yet public.

Cienfuegos was secretary of defense from 2012 to 2018 under then-President Enrique Peña Nieto.

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