The unfreezing of the CJNG accounts, frozen in June in an U.S.-Mexico cooperative operation

 Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat  Zeta

In June, directly the head of the
Financial Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit,
Santiago Nieto, boasted – that in an operation he called “Blue Agave”,
they had managed to freeze the bank accounts of 1,939 entities , between
people, companies, and trusts linked to the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación criminally
headed by Nemesio Oceguera, “El Mencho.” The operation had the direct
involvement of the United States Anti-Narcotics Agency, the main source of the
location of the criminal targets.

The figures of the seized and the
investigated were really impressive, billions of dollars in illicit operations,
the same in international operations, and interbank transfers for more than 650
million pesos.

The President of the Republic,
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, not only confirmed the operation in one of his
morning conferences, but also reported that it had been based on an express
request from the United States.

On the morning of June 3, he answered: “There
was a request from the United States Government in the sense that they had
information, and according to the cooperation agreements, they had to freeze
accounts of this group and that was what made”.

In the freezing of accounts,
there was everything from sisters and sisters-in-law of noted drug traffickers
and their wives, to pharmaceutical companies, real estate companies, automotive
companies, construction companies, tequila companies and even municipal
governments of Jalisco.

But … there was a problem in
the process, and the vaunted action against the CJNG by the López Obrador
government did not have the collaboration of the Attorney General’s Office.

To date, as stated in a ZETA
report by Luis Carlos Sainz, at least two women, five mayors and others, have
managed to have their savings and checking accounts unfrozen. And two more
people, all linked to the Oseguera family circle, are awaiting a judicial
resolution, which, based on the background, is presumed favorable for them.

It turns out that the UIF managed
directly with the National Banking and Securities Commission, the freezing of
the accounts, and a thesis of the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of
Justice of the Nation, provides that the block of financial resources only
proceeds upon request. of a foreign authority based on the Cooperation Treaty
between the United States and Mexico, and that this request must be addressed
to the FGR, which is the coordinated Mexican authority.

Once this process is carried out,
the FGR is channeled to the competent authority. In any case, the FIU should
have reported such illegal conduct to the Attorney General’s Office, and this
should have been notified by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, of the foreign

But the Financial Intelligence
Unit “received” directly from the U.S., a foreign authority, a case
confirmed by the President, and acted accordingly, therefore legally, since the
FGR was not the receiving authority and the authority of the action, it was
violated Due process and those “affected” with the freezing of accounts, their
rights are restored.

This is the case of Erika and
Berenice González Valencia, sisters-in-law of “El Mencho”, sisters of Abigail
González Valencia “El Cuini”, to whom a district court based in Jalisco, granted
provisional suspension so that “authorities can unblock/unfreeze the blocking”.

Those who also managed to have
their resources, and those of their relatives, unblocked, from a provisional
suspension, are the Mayors of Auxtlán, Ixtalahuacán, El Grullo, Villa
Purificación and Casimiro Castillo.

Regarding the unfreezing of
accounts insured in the Agave Azul operation, neither the Attorney General of
the Republic, Alejandro Gertz Manero, nor the head of the UIF, Santiago Nieto,
have declared anything, however… the animosity between them is known.

In January 2020, in an
appearance, Gertz Manero expressed: “The FGR has been very respectful of
the presumption of innocence … because there are units, not from the
Prosecutor’s Office, but from the Government, that do not respect that
presumption.” She completed: “Government units affirm facts that may
affect the criminal procedure, because then they accuse us of faults in due
process and that we do not do.”

It was evident, as it is now that
the Agave Azul operation is failing, that the Attorney General of the Republic
was referring to the acts of the Financial Intelligence Unit, whose actions, at
least in the present case, are being suspended with suspensions and shelters.

On another occasion, at a
discussion table with Aristegui Noticias , the Prosecutor Gertz Manero,
referred to the FIU: “You tell me that an Intelligence Unit has no other
functions than to obtain intelligence information, so why does it perform
functions of authority and it freezes accounts and generates behaviors that the
SCJN has already said are absolutely unconstitutional, you are talking about
something that seems to be a schizophrenic contradiction”.

In the same program, the Attorney
General of the Republic sentenced: “It is not about making media scandals. It
is about giving legal results”.

And indeed, the Agave Azul
operation, which was predicted by the media, is falling in court, due to the
suspensions granted to the relatives of “El Mencho” and “El
Cuini” to make use of the resources that were frozen, the same than other
actors. And although the amparo has not been granted, the judges presume that
the FIU and the Ministry of Finance, by not having the collaboration of the
authority responsible and coordinating international agreements, the FGR,
violated due process. Sure, until the federal government proves otherwise, then
they can freeze them again.