Mexican ex-defense minister protected cartel for bribes: U.S. indictment

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Mexico’s former defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos used his power to protect the Beltran-Leyva Cartel, directing operations at rival groups, helping find boats to ship drugs and arranging meetings with other corrupt officials, a U.S. indictment said.

Cienfuegos, arrested in Los Angeles on Thursday, took bribes in return for the protection that included warning cartel members about U.S. operations, according to the indictment that charges him with drug trafficking and money laundering.

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