Mexico rejects allegation of bribe-taking made in the New York trial of drug kingpin

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Mexico

Mexico’s president and his predecessor have rejected allegations of bribe-taking made in the New York trial of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

Guzmán’s lawyer told the trial that his client was a “scapegoat”.

He said the real leader of the Sinaloa Cartel was Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada who was living openly in Mexico and bribing the “entire” government, including President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Both Peña Nieto and his predecessor Felipe Calderón have denied the claims.

Guzmán, 61, faces 17 charges and could be jailed for life if found guilty.

He was arrested in January 2016 after escaping from prison through a tunnel five months earlier.

Prosecutors say the Sinaloa cartel is the biggest supplier of drugs to the US.

Key associates, including one of his former lieutenants, are expected to testify against Guzmán.

The trial, which opened on Tuesday amid high security, is expected to last about four months.

BBC/IFEANYI