DEA investigation reveals that the drug trafficking Sinaloa Cartel financed the campaign of Mexican President AMLO

The other presidential candidate, Felipe Calderón, also appears to have received money from the criminal organization.

The current Mexican president, Andrés Manual López Obrador, also known as AMLO, received money from the Sinaloa Cartel for his presidential campaign in 2006, according to an investigation carried out between 2010 and 2011 by the Federal Prosecutor’s Office of the Southern District of New York and the DEA which was revealed by the Mexican journalist Anabel Hernandez.

According to the reporter, the terror-inducing Sinaloa Cartel contributed between $2-4 million to AMLO’s campaign, who lost by a close 0.56% of the votes to former president Felipe Calderón.

Hernández, in her article for Deutsche Welle, said that the prosecutor’s office prepared confidential reports and obtained audio recordings in which representatives from the Sinaloa Cartel and AMLO’s inner circle confirmed the delivery of the dirty money.

According to the investigation, these sources participated directly in the delivery, receipt and channeling of money to AMLO’s campaign.

According to the Mexican journalist herself, the United States Government verified that the drug trafficker Arturo Beltran Leyva, extradited to the US in 2014 and sentenced to life imprisonment in Washington DC, was the one who orchestrated the operation and gave the money to AMLO’s campaign.

Hernández stated that she obtained the information thanks to two people who were present at the meetings to agree on financing, one close to the AMLO team and another member of the Sinaloa Cartel.

“In exchange, the criminal organization asked to have protection and to have the right to participate in the appointment of the attorney general of the Republic if López Obrador won the election,” explained Hernández, who explained that, at that time, Beltrán Leyva was a cornerstone of the criminal organization “La Federación,” associated with drug traffickers Joaquín Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo” and Ismael Zambada García, alias “El Mayo.”

The Prosecutor’s Office and the DEA managed to identify those who participated in the corruption plot by the Sinaloa Cartel: drug trafficker Edgar Valdez Villarreal, alias “La Barbie,” one of Arturo Beltrán Leyv’s main partners; Roberto Acosta Islas, alias “El R,” one of Beltrán’s lieutenants; and Roberto Lopez Najera, responsible for paying bribes from the famous cartel to the Mexican authorities.

Likewise, the four men close to AMLO who participated in the operation were also revealed.

One was Nicolás Mollinedo, a faithful ally and driver of AMLO who worked with the president from 2000 to 2014. According to Hernández, “Nico” was one of López Obrador’s most trusted people.

The other figure who participated in the plot, according to Hernández, was Mauricio Soto Caballero, the president’s campaign operator in 2006, 2012 and 2018, who is currently a member of the Mexican Congress for the National Regeneration Movement party (Morena), AMLO’s political party.

According to the Mexican journalist, Soto Caballero was the man who received the money from the Sinaloa Cartel to channel it into AMLO’s campaign.

The other two involved were businessmen Francisco León García and Emilio Dipp Jones. The first was the owner of marble mines until he disappeared in March 2007; since then, his whereabouts have been unknown. Dipp Jones was present at the first meeting, where it was agreed that the Sinaloa Cartel would support López Obrador’s campaign.

According to Hernández, in the first meeting, whose location was not mentioned, it was agreed that the cartel would deliver $2 million to AMLO’s campaign. The second meeting was held in Mexico City in a house located at 131 Aristóteles Street, in the Polanco neighborhood, and López Nájera, Soto Caballero, Dipp Jones and León García were all present.

The United States government discovered that most of the cash deliveries were carried out at the location on Aristotle Street throughout the 2006 presidential campaign and that, on one occasion, Beltrán Leyva sent his financial operator Roberto Acosta, “El R,” to deliver the money to ensure that the cash reached the now Mexican president.

In addition to the illicit financing of López Obrador’s campaign, Hernández also confirmed that the Sinaloa Cartel not only financed AMLO in 2006, but they also financed the campaign of his opponent, Felipe Calderón, who would eventually become President of Mexico.

The deal with Calderón was similar to that of AMLO: dirty money in exchange for protection from the Mexican government.

Hernández’s report was published months after AMLO accused the DEA of carrying out “an abusive and arrogant interference” in Mexico after infiltrating the Sinaloa Cartel without the authorization of the Mexican government.

“This is not a DEA matter. This has to do with the State Department. And the same thing happens with the Department of Justice of the United States because they have to bring order. Everything is still very loose,” AMLO said to the press on that occasion.