Mexico denies deal made to nab capo in return for ex-defense minister

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday denied that Mexico had agreed to capture a cartel leader for the United States in order to secure the return of ex-defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos from U.S. custody.

Reuters reported last week that Mexico agreed with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to seek the arrest of a high-level Mexican drug cartel leader as part of a deal to get U.S. drug trafficking charges against Cienfuegos dropped.

“There is no deal in the shadows,” Lopez Obrador said at his regular news conference, referring to the Reuters story as well as other media reports that Mexico had threatened to expel U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents over Cienfuegos’ arrest.

He said it was wrong to suggest that the United States sent Cienfuegos back so that Mexico would send Washington a leader of organized crime.

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