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Ex-Agent Details Mexican Drug Payoff

Thu., March 13, 1997

A former federal police agent told a jury Wednesday how he delivered suitcases of cash, the proceeds of a cocaine shipment, to Mexico’s top drug enforcement official, who was seated in an automobile parked outside the Mexico City headquarters of the country’s attorney general.

The account offered Wednesday by Raul Macias, who said he was the bodyguard to a Federal Judicial Police commander until last year, was the most important testimony to date in a civil trial unfolding here in which U.S. prosecutors have been painting an image of systematic narcotics corruption in Mexico, with police, prosecutors, in fact the entire law-enforcement apparatus, in the pay of traffickers.

The trial has taken on special significance because even as prosecutors here work to convince a jury that Mexico’s anti-drug programs have been systematically corrupted, administration officials in Washington have been beseeching Congress not to overturn President Clinton’s Feb. 28 decision to certify Mexico as a full partner in the drug fight. The House has scheduled a floor vote on that issue today .

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