‘El Chapo’ paid former Mexican president $100M bribe, court witness claims

‘El Chapo’ paid former Mexican president $100M bribe, court witness claims

15, 2019, Alex Cifuentes, a Colombian drug trafficker, testified in a NY courtroom that Mexican cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman boasted about paying a $100 million bribe to the former president of Mexico.

Alex Cifuentes, a Colombian trafficker who once served as Guzman's close personal aide and secretary, said Guzman accepted a bribe from President Enrique Peña Nieto, who served from 2012 to 2018.

When asked if he told authorities in 2016 that Guzman arranged the bribe, he answered, "That's right".

Mr Regino, who denied collaboration with the cartel at the end of past year, told The Telegraph that he did not take seriously the accusations against Mr Pena Nieto, dismissing it as being without sufficient detail and impossible to believe.

Cifuentes testified he had told U.S. prosecutors that Peña Nieto initially reached out to Guzman, asking for $US250 million.

Under questioning from Guzman's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, Cifuentes said he wasn't sure exactly when the bribe was delivered.

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Cifuentes also said testified that Guzman once told him he had received a message from Pena Nieto saying he did not have to live in hiding anymore. He has previously denied taking bribes. Pena Nieto was unable to be reached for comment.

According to reporters in the Brooklyn courthouse, Nieto, who served as the president of Mexico from 2012 to 2018, had requested United States dollars 250 million before settling for USD 100 million.

Guzman, 61, has been on trial in federal court in Brooklyn since November. The trial has featured numerous allegations of bribes or attempts to bribe high-level officials in Mexico and Colombia, including police commanders and other officials in charge of fighting the drug cartels.

The president personally announced the news of his recapture in January 2016.

Previously, witnesses in Guzman's drug conspiracy trial accused him of bribing Mexican officials. He was replaced in November by the newly elected Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

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