As Joaquín Guzmán – aka El Chapo – stands trial in Brooklyn, many details are emerging about Mexico’s most infamous drug trafficker. Through his testimony, Alex Cifuentes, a Colombian trafficker, has given us a behind-the-scenes look at the man feared by some and revered by others. Earlier this week, Cifuentes broke down how El Chapo spent his days while in hiding deep in the mountains and how the kingpin hoped to direct a movie about his own life (which would be based off an autobiography), but how it never came to pass. But perhaps the most significant allegation is when Cifuentes took the stand on Tuesday and testified that Enrique Peña Nieto took a $100 million bribe from El Chapo.
During cross-examination, one of El Chapo’s lawyers, Jeffrey Lichtman, asked Cifuentes if the kingpin paid a $100 million bribe to EPN. “Yes,” said Cifuentes, who worked with El Chapo from 2007 to 2013.
Cifuentes has also revealed that it was EPN who first reached out to El Chapo in late 2012 – around the time he started his six-year term. He allegedly asked El Chapo for $250 million to call off a nationwide manhunt for him, which is when El Chapo made a counter offer of $100 million.
“The message was that Mr. Guzmán didn’t have to stay in hiding,” Lichtman asked.
“Yes, that very thing is what Joaquin said to me,” he replied.
The lawyer then went onto read notes from an interview Cifuentes gave in 2016, where he talked about Calderón taking a bribe from one of El Chapo’s rivals in 2008. “I don’t recall this incident very well,” Cifuentes said when asked about Calderón. “Right now, I do not remember that.”
By Wednesday evening, a court filing that was unsealed would also tie a member of Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador’s 2006 presidential campaign to El Chapo, making him the third Mexican president implicated during the course of the trial.
According to The New York Times, this news didn’t make much of a ripple in Mexico. But it has shocked some and raised eyebrows among others. Check out a few reactions below.