Alex Cifuentes Villa, the Colombian drug trafficker, testified against one of the founders of the Sinaloa Cartel, Joaquín «El Chapo» Guzmán, in January 2019 during his trial in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York. In his sworn statement, the South American capo testified that the man from Badiraguato, Sinaloa, gave a multimillion-dollar bribe to the then-president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto.
This Thursday, four years after Cifuentes Villa’s testimony, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury removed the Colombian drug trafficker from its blacklist. His whereabouts are reported as unknown, as he may have become a protected witness after testifying against Guzmán Loera, according to reports from Univisión.
Information about Alex Cifuentes is no longer visible in the US prison system, and he is also not under the custody of the US Marshals Service. The narco was arrested in Sinaloa and, after being extradited, entered into a cooperation agreement with US authorities against the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, which led to his sentencing to life imprisonment.
«The Chapo» gave $100 million to Peña Nieto
The Colombian self-proclaimed himself as Joaquín Guzmán Loera’s right-hand man, living with him between the fall of 2007 and the spring of 2009 in the mountains of Sinaloa, where they continued cocaine distribution.
In addition to being responsible for building clandestine airstrips and cultivating coca plantations, Alex Cifuentes was the «Chapo’s» translator in his meetings with Canadian and American drug dealers.
On one occasion, being a close associate of «El Chapo,» Cifuentes claimed that he was told about the day he delivered $100 million to then-President Enrique Peña Nieto to finance his electoral campaign in 2012 in exchange for allowing him to continue trafficking drugs freely. According to the Colombian narco, the initial amount requested by the candidate was $250 million.
The close relationship between Joaquín Guzmán’s people and those of Enrique Peña was linked to Alex Cifuentes and a woman named Andrea Vélez, who was an employee of JJ Rendón, a political advisor to Peña Nieto, as confirmed by the aforementioned media outlet.
During the Trial of the Century that sentenced «El Chapo» Guzmán to spend the rest of his days locked up in a maximum-security prison in Florida, the Colombian drug trafficker stated that he followed the advice given to him by his older brother, Jorge Cifuentes Villa, who also testified against «El Chapo,» that he should confess everything to the Americans:
«With the Americans, I should confess like confessing to God»: Alex Cifuentes.