USA v. García Luna: Episode 1 ‘Untouchable’

Dec 9, 2022
10:49 AM
Originally published at Latino USA

Peniley Ramírez has one obsession. For the last decade, she has been investigating the possible corruption of Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s top security official from 2006 to 2012. She often did it alone, at night, after she finished her day job. And for years, while her deep research generated new leads of García Luna’s ties to Mexican drug cartels or his suspicious millionaire lifestyle in Miami, Mexican and U.S. authorities didn’t seem to care. There were no arrests. García Luna seemed untouchable.

But then, there was a break. García Luna’s name came up in the so-called “trial of the century.” One of the witnesses in the trial of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, held in Brooklyn, New York, accused García Luna of receiving millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa cartel. And a year later, García Luna was arrested in Texas and is now facing his own trial in New York. The latest developments have only fed Peniley’s obsession, and she’s bringing it to this podcast. This time, though, she’s not alone.

She’s joined by her colleague and new friend, Maria Hinojosa. Over a bottle of tequila, they dive in this first episode into the business of the war on drugs, and they shed light on why the trial of an allegedly corrupt former Mexican official should matter to people in the U.S. They also raise questions about what García Luna’s rise to power and current trial tell us about the way U.S. agencies work with Mexico in the war on drugs.

Learn more about USA v. Garcia Luna on


Latino USA with Maria Hinojosa, produced by Futuro Media, is the longest-running Latino-focused program on U.S. public media.