Major embarrassment for Mexicans was made public on Wednesday after some United States prosecutors released some documents that put their government to shame. There is evidence that a commander, Ivan Reye Arzate, of the Mexican Police intelligence sharing unit has been passing on classified information of an ongoing DEA investigation to a drug cartel, called Beltran Leyva, for millions of dollars.
Arzate, a 35 year old man, was named in the United States indictment from the district court only hours after the revelation that there has been an obstruction of justice. He was in charge of some sensitive investigation units that were formed specifically for the United States to feel comfortable to share their intelligence with Mexico. Unfortunately, this breach of trust only cements our disbelief in Mexico.
According to the U.S. indictment, Reyes Arzate was caught on a wiretap in September telling a drug trafficker to get rid of his communications equipment because he was under investigation and his phones were being tapped.
He even sent the trafficker a surveillance photo that the Mexican police unit had taken of him. That photo – sent to a mobile device that was being tapped – was what first awoke suspicions among U.S. officials that there was a mole in the investigation. Reyes Arzate has acknowledged meeting with a drug trafficker but denied sending him information.
The U.S. indictment unsealed Wednesday in Chicago says Reyes Arzate was the top commander of an SIU unit whose officers were specially trained and vetted by the United States, including weeklong training at a DEA school in Quantico, Virginia. A former federal police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is no longer with the agency said Reyes Arzate was probably two or three steps down in the command chain from Mexico’s federal police commissioner. “Reyes, in his role as supervisor over the SIU, routinely had contact and worked collaboratively with DEA agents in Mexico City,” according to the indictment.