Mexico's president: we didn't threaten to expel DEA agents over General Cienfuegos arrest

Mexico’s former Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos takes the oath before Judge Carol Bagley Amon during a hearing to consider a U.S. government request to drop drug charges, in a courtroom sketch in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S. November 18, 2020. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg MANDATORY CREDIT REFILE – CORRECTING BOROUGH

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday that Mexico did not threaten to expel U.S. agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) from Mexico in retaliation for the U.S. arrest of former defense minister Salvador Cienfuegos.

Lopez Obrador’s statement during his regular morning news conference came after multiple outlets reported Mexico had threatened the agents’ expulsion after the United States arrested the powerful Mexican general at the Los Angeles airport last month.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard reiterated that Mexico had warned of a review of security cooperation in retaliation for not being given advance notice about the investigation and arrest, but emphasized that there was no specific threat regarding expelling agents.

The United States dropped the drug trafficking and money laundering charges earlier this week and turned over the investigation to Mexico after diplomatic tensions over the case.

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