HomeNewsBriefMexican Generals Charged with Drug Trafficking
BRIEF

Mexican Generals Charged with Drug Trafficking

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 8 AUG 2012 BY CLAIRE O'NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

Six high-ranking members of the Mexican army, including four generals, have been formally charged with collaborating with drug traffickers in what is likely the biggest corruption case of Felipe Calderon’s presidency.

On July 31, a federal judge in Toluca, Mexico State, charged six high-ranking members of the Mexican army, including the former second-highest ranking defense official and three retired generals, for ties to the Beltran Leyva Organization (BLO), reported Proceso. The judge also charged four members of the BLO, including US-born Hector Valdez Villareal, alias “La Barbie,” whose testimony is thought to have implicated the army officials.

Four of the six accused have been detained since May under the pre-trial detention process known as “arraigo,” which allows prosecutors to hold individuals suspected of participating in organized crime for up to 80 days. The four are: former Assistant Secretary of Defense Tomas Angeles Dauahare (pictured), retired Divisional General Ricardo Escorcia Vargas, retired Brigadier General Roberto Dawe Gonzalez, and retired Lieutenant Colonel Silvio Isidro de Jesus Hernandez Soto. The warrant for their formal arrest was issued just three days before the accused were to be released from pre-trial detention. Following the issue of the warrant, they were moved to a maximum security federal prison in Toluca.

Charges were also levied against Major Iván Reyna Muñoz, who served as a witness in the initial inquiry against General Dauahare.

InSight Crime Analysis

The charges filed against the accused, the highest ranking military officials charged with links to organized crime in fifteen years, could deal a blow to President Calderon’s anti-organized crime legacy. The army served as a pillar of Calderon’s militarized strategy against organized crime; over 50,000 soldiers have been deployed in 14 of Mexico’s 32 states since Calderon took office in 2006. The case against Angeles is especially disastrous for Calderon given that the retired general was key in implementing the president’s anti-crime strategy during his time as assistant secretary of defense from 2006 to 2008.

Regardless of the danger these accusation pose to Calderon’s legacy, it remains to be seen whether the case against the generals will cause major damage to the army’s reputation and popularity among the Mexican public. Despite continued reports of unpunished human rights abuses by the military, the Mexican army continues to enjoy high levels of support, especially in comparison to other public institutions such as the police. A survey by the Pew Research Center published in June showed that 80 percent of Mexicans surveyed approved of using the army to fight organized crime.

Before winning the presidential election in July, Enrique Peña Nieto declared his support for the continued deployment of the military and praised both the army and the navy’s success against organized crime. Peña Nieto takes power in December.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

MEXICO / 6 JUN 2011

Four years after President Calderon declared war on Mexico's drug cartels, a policy which has been accompanied by surging violence…

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR / 22 SEP 2014

Two journalists in the Pacific Coast state of Michoacan received money from the leader of the Knights Templar drug cartel…

EL CHAPO / 30 APR 2013

US authorities planned Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's capture during Mexico's previous administration, according to a respected Mexican news source, but…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…