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Añorve Battles Charges of Affiliation with Narcos

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 28 January, 2011

(Mexico City, Sur 28 January) La Reforma, a newspaper with national circulation printed yesterday that a former narcotics gang member now under witness protection, identified Manuel Añorve as the candidate of the Beltrán Leyva drug gang. According to the report, Añorve received $15 million in cash in exchange for providing the group a safe haven in Acapulco. Añorve emphatically denies all the accusations, adding that the calumny was timed to do him maximum harm on the eve of the elections. “There can be no doubt that this is another dirty trick by my opponents,” he said.

The interrogation of the witness by the Attorney General’s office was said to have taken place last November 26. The witness, named “Mateo,” is said to have placed 5 of the $15 million “in his hands” last summer. He said the money was in $20 bills and filled 7 or 8 file boxes. According to the official document leaked to the press, drug organization kingpin Hector Beltrán Leyva was in attendance at this meeting, which took place in a luxurious suburb of Mexico City in June or July.

This same witness has been responsible for the arrests of a number of high government officials now accused of signing on with the drug gangs, including the head of the maximum security prison known as Altiplano and two former regional directors of Mexico´s FBI (called AFI). The witness also has implicated Añorve and Acapulco’s Public Safety Director, General Salinas Altés, in receiving bribes to permit “La Barbie” (Edgar Valdéz) freely to operate dance clubs in Acapulco without having to comply with the usual paperwork. Additionally, according to the accusations, local police were assigned to help the Beltrán syndicate transport and distribute cocaine.

For his part, candidate Añorve went directly to Mexico City to demand a retraction from the federal attorney general, saying that the defamation was politically inspired. “I must defend the honor of my name and family … against damaging rumors. I told you that there would be a dirty war against my person, and I have the impression that the PAN and PRD are behind this.” At the Attorney General’s office he met with the coordinator for the Southeast Region, who assured him that there is no investigation against him. In a short communication on the Internet page of the Attorney General’s office, said that the accusations made by La Reforma were “reporters’ versions” and denied that any leaks had occurred. Further, the note said that testimony by protected witnesses is not worthy of credit unless supported by other elements of proof. The announcement ended by saying that Miguel Añorve Baños has not been cited by the Attorney General’s Office.

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