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Latino Daily News

Friday April 19, 2013

MEXICO: Judge Orders Retired General Released from Prison

MEXICO: Judge Orders Retired General Released from Prison

Photo: MEXICO: Judge Orders Retired General Released from Prison

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A retired general arrested in May 2012 on drug charges has been ordered released from prison by a Mexican judge, judicial officials said.

Former Deputy Defense Secretary Gen. Tomas Angeles Dauahare was given his freedom on Wednesday, hours after federal prosecutors decided to drop the charges against him on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to take the case to trial.

Judge Raul Valerio, who was in charge of the case, ordered the retired general’s “absolute and immediate” release.

Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam signed a document a few hours earlier dropping the charges against the general.

Angeles Dauahare, who retired on March 1, 2008, was accused by two witnesses, one of them identified by the code name “Jennifer,” of having provided protection to the Beltran Leyva drug cartel.

The winesses alleged that the general worked for cartel boss Edgar Valdez Villarreal, allowing planes carrying cocaine to land in Cancun, Toluca and Cuernavaca.

Valdez Villarreal, known as “La Barbie,” was arrested by the Federal Police on Aug. 30, 2010.

The case against Angeles Dauahare was opened by prosecutors during the administration of President Felipe Calderon, who governed Mexico from 2006 to 2012.

Earlier this week, a judge threw out the charges against Noe Ramirez Mandujano, who was accused of being on the payroll of a cartel while serving as Mexico’s drug czar in the Calderon administration.

Federal Judge Mauricio Fernandez de la Mora, who is based in the western state of Nayarit, dropped the organized crime charges against the former prosecutor.

“With regard to the principal cooperating witness by the code name of ‘Jennifer,’ it was found that she acted with lack of probity since she admitted that she lied in giving her statements,” the Federal Judicial Council said in a statement.

Ramirez Mandujano, who served as drug czar from December 2006 to July 2008, was arrested in November 2008 during “Operation Clean-Up,” an initiative to root out corruption in the upper reaches of the Federal Police and Attorney General’s Office.

The former drug czar received $450,000 a month from the Sinaloa drug cartel, prosecutors alleged.