Mexico's ex-defense secretary arrested in Los Angeles

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s top diplomat said Thursday that the country’s former defense secretary, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, has been arrested in Los Angeles.

Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard wrote Thursday in his Twitter account that U.S. Ambassador Christopher Landau had informed him of Cienfuegos’ arrest.

The general served from 2012 to 2018 as secretary of defense under President Enrique Peña Nieto. Ebrard said he was arrested at L.A. international airport, apparently as he was either arriving or leaving the country.

Ebrard did not say what charges he was arrested on. He wrote that Mexico's Consul in Los Angeles would be informing him about the charges “in the next few hours," and that Cienfuegos had a right to receive consular assistance.

Cienfuegos is the highest-ranking former Cabinet official arrested since the top Mexican security official Genaro Garcia Luna was arrested in Texas in 2019. Garcia Luna, who served in the top cabinet security post from 2006 to 2012 under ex-president Felipe Calderón, has pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking charges.