Arrest of ex-defense chief in US 'regrettable': Mexican president

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday called the arrest of former Mexican Defense Minister Salvador Cienfuegos in the United States "regrettable."

"It is a very regrettable fact that a former defense minister has been arrested, accused of links to drug trafficking," said the Mexican president at a press conference.

"Of course, all of this must be proven ... There are legal processes where the accused has the right to defense," he added.

Cienfuegos was detained at the Los Angeles International Airport in California Thursday night for alleged ties to drug trafficking, according to Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.

Lopez Obrador said that U.S. authorities would release the precise reasons for the arrest late Friday.

"Regardless of the result of the investigation and the conclusion of the entire process, it is very regrettable that this has happened," said the Mexican president.

Cienfuegos served as defense minister from 2012 to 2018 under former president Enrique Pena Nieto.

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