Identity of some witnesses revealed after jury selection

(CNN Spanish) –– After three days of analysis, this Thursday the jury was constituted in the trial facing Genaro García Luna, former Secretary of Public Security of Mexico, in New York. The former official, the highest-ranking judge in the United States, faces the possibility of a 20-year prison sentence or life imprisonment for the corruption and drug trafficking charges against him, and to which he has pleaded not guilty.

After selecting the 12 jurors, Judge Brian Cogan issued a ruling restricting the presentation of some evidence at the sessions and revealing the names of some of the potential witnesses in the case.

Among them is Jesús “el Rey” Zambada, a former Sinaloa Cartel operative, who testified during the trial against Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán that on two occasions he allegedly delivered suitcases with US$8 million in bribes to García Luna in exchange for his protection. .

Also present are Edgar Veytia, alias “el Diablo”, a former prosecutor from the Mexican state of Nayarit, who was sentenced in the United States to 20 years in prison for drug trafficking, and Alex Cifuentes Villa, a Colombian drug trafficker who also testified in the trial against El Chapo. .

Sergio Villarreal Barragán, known as “el Grande”, a former collaborator of the US authorities and a former member of the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, is also expected to testify.

OPINION | Case against García Luna seems like a soap opera 2:26

The document also refers to an unidentified witness alleged to have engaged in cannibalism, but Judge Cogan barred the defense from referring to that allegation because of its defamatory and distracting nature.

Among the other elements that the judge’s ruling says the jury will not hear are questions about some of Cifuentes Villa’s alleged beliefs about aliens and the Illuminati. Nor about evidence unrelated to the case that could call into question the credibility of some of the witnesses.

Cogan, however, granted the defense’s request to exclude evidence about the expensive García Luna lifestyle, arguing that there is no evidence that it was financed with money from the Sinaloa Cartel.

The defense may also show the jury photos of García Luna with senior officials of the US government, as evidence -according to the defense- of his fight against the Mexican drug cartels.

Seven women and five men will be in charge of deciding on the innocence or guilt of the former head of the Mexican Police. By order of the judge, the jury will be anonymous and will remain partially isolated.

García Luna faces several counts of participation in an ongoing criminal enterprise and conspiracy to obtain, import and distribute thousands of kilograms of cocaine in the US, in addition to allegedly making false statements to US immigration officials.

Opening arguments are scheduled for this Monday.

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