The legend of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman continued to grow yesterday (Nov. 20) during witness testimony at his trial in Brooklyn.
According to Raw Story, witness Jesus Zambada told the court that El Chapo’s influence had reached the highest of political circles as he paid a multimillion-dollar bribe to an underling of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in 2005. Not only that but the Mexican kingpin also dished out millions of dollars in bribes to former a Mexican government official named Genaro Garcia Luna on behalf of his brother, drug lord Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada. El Mayo is currently on the run from the law.
When reached for comment a spokesman for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador did not respond to the allegation while Garcia Luna issued a written statement referring to the testimony as “perjury” and labeled it “defamation.”
Garcia Luna said he had received commendations from high-level U.S. officials for his labors in fighting organized crime in Mexico and that he had been “systematically defamed” due to the actions he took against criminal networks.
“There has never been a single proof or evidence of all those infamies,” he said.
Zambada gave his testimony about the bribes on the fifth day of trial under cross-examination by one of Guzman’s lawyers, William Purpura. Guzman’s lawyers have said they will try to prove that Guzman is being scapegoated and that Ismael Zambada was the real head of the Sinaloa Cartel.
Zambada for his part admits that he’s no angel having himself moved weight with El Chapo and paid off his fair share of government officials.
During Purpura’s cross-examination, Zambada said he paid “a few million” dollars to a Mexico City government official while Lopez Obrador was head of government there. He said the bribe was paid because it was believed at the time that the official could become Mexico’s next secretary of public security.
The name of the official was not immediately clear from the court testimony. But Gabriel Regino, a former subsecretary of public security in Mexico City who is now a criminal law professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, wrote on Twitter that an accusation of bribery had emerged against him in the trial but was false.
Zambada also said under cross-examination that he handed a suitcase containing $3 million to Garcia Luna in 2005 or 2006, when Garcia Luna was director of Mexico’s Federal Investigation Agency.
It really seems like everyone has their price in the political game. Imagine what El Chapo could’ve gotten away with had he been dealing during this Trump presidency.