Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Wednesday vehemently denied a claim made at the New York trial of a once-powerful government minister that one of his election campaigns had received drug cartel money.
An attorney for former security chief Genaro Garcia Luna, who is accused of abetting the notorious Sinaloa cartel, questioned a former drug trafficker a day earlier about the alleged $7 million payment.
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Speaking at his daily news conference, Lopez Obrador branded the lawyer “slanderous and crooked,” adding: “We are not gangsters, nor are we corrupt.”
Garcia Luna’s defense alleged that the payment was made via former Mexico City security chef Gabriel Regino for Lopez Obrador’s 2006 presidential campaign.
Former drug trafficker Jesus “Rey” Zambada, a prosecution witness, replied that he remembered paying money for a campaign, but not for Lopez Obrador.
Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who lost the 2006 election to Felipe Calderon, came to power in 2018 with a vow to crack down on corruption.
Garcia Luna is accused of receiving vast sums of money to allow the Sinaloa cartel to smuggle cocaine when he was Calderon’s public security minister between 2006 and 2012.