According to an investigation carried out between 2010 and 2011 by the US Department of Justice, the Sinaloa Cartel contributed between 2 and 4 million dollars to the campaign of Andrés Manuel López Obrador in 2006.
An investigation carried out between 2010 and 2011 by the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York and the until now secret anti-drug agency DEA, obtained solid evidence that the Sinaloa Cartel contributed between 2 and 4 million dollars to Andrés Manuel‘s campaign. López Obrador when he was a candidate for the Presidency in 2006.
During the investigation, the Prosecutor’s Office prepared confidential reports and obtained audio recordings where witnesses from the Sinaloa Cartel and AMLO’s inner circle directly participated in the money’s delivery, reception, and channeling confirmed illicit financing.
I have been aware of the case since 2020 as part of a long-term investigation I have carried out since 2019. The United States government verified that Arturo Beltrán Leyva delivered the money to members of AMLO’s campaign team during the 2006 electoral process in the name of the Sinaloa Cartel. In exchange, the criminal organization asked for protection and the right to participate in appointing the Attorney General of the Republic if López Obrador won the election.
At that time, Beltrán Leyva alias “El Barbas” obtained multimillion-dollar profits from drug trafficking that reached 400 million dollars per month. He was part of the leadership of the so-called Federation associated with drug traffickers Joaquín Guzmán Loera alias “El Chapo” and Ismael Zambada García alias “El Mayo”, among others.
During the two years of investigation, the Prosecutor’s Office and the DEA discovered and corroborated this plot’s protagonists.
On the part of the Sinaloa Cartel, the main person responsible for making the negotiations was the drug trafficker Edgar Valdez Villarreal alias “La Barbie”, one of the main partners of Arturo Beltrán Leyva. Roberto Acosta Islas alias “El R”, one of the lieutenants of “El Barbas” and financial manager. And Roberto López Nájera, Beltrán Leyva operator, responsible for paying bribes from the cartel to authorities in Mexico.
On the part of AMLO’s team, those responsible for receiving the money and channeling it to the campaign were two people very close to the president: Nicolás Mollinedo, better known as Nico, who was then AMLO’s inseparable driver. Nico worked closely with López Obrador from 2000 to 2014. The driver rose to fame for being the driver of the white Tsuru which López Obrador always traveled when he was head of the CDMX government.
It is public that Nico was one of López Obrador’s most trusted people. Originally from Tabasco like the president, Mollinedo and his family have had a close relationship of friendship and total trust with AMLO for decades.
Nico was López Obrador’s inseparable man. His shadow. During the 2006 presidential campaign, he was the logistical coordinator, and in the 2012 campaign, he was also an important operator.
The other person directly linked to AMLO through whom the negotiations for the delivery of the money from the Sinaloa Cartel were made, and who directly received the resources of illicit origin to channel them into the campaign, is Mauricio Soto Caballero, currently a member of the national congress of official party National Regeneration Movement (Morena).