U.S. authorities accuse a Mexican scientist of working as a spy for Russia

23/02/2020
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12:53
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Newsroom
U.S. authorities accuse a Mexican scientist of working as a spy for Russia
The scientist was born in one of the most impoverished states in Mexico - Photo: Edwin Hernández/EL UNIVERSAL

U.S. authorities accuse a Mexican scientist of working as a spy for Russia

23/02/2020
12:53
Newsroom
Mexico City
-A +A
Cabrera is a prominent scientist known for developing an advanced technique to prevent and treat strokes

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Last week, it was revealed that Mexican scientist Héctor Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes was accused of being a Russian spy by U.S. authorities.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, a Mexican citizen residing in Singapore, was arrested based on a complaint charging him with acting within the United States on behalf of a foreign government (Russia), without notifying the Attorney General, and conspiracy to do the same.”

The statement adds that “according to court documents, a Russian government official recruited Fuentes in 2019 and directed Fuentes to rent a specific property in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The Russian official told Fuentes not to rent the apartment in Fuentes’s own name and not to tell his family about their meetings. Fuentes traveled to Russia and informed the Russian government official about the arrangements. The official approved and told Fuentes to see him again on his next trip to Russia.

In February 2020, Fuentes traveled to Moscow again and met with the Russian government official. At this meeting, the Russian government official provided Fuentes with a physical description of a U.S. Government source’s vehicle and told Fuentes to locate the car, obtain the source’s vehicle license plate number, and note the physical location of the source’s vehicle. The Russian official instructed Fuentes to meet the Russian official again in April or May 2020, to inform him of the results of the search for the source’s vehicle.”

In February, while in a U.S. airport, “Fuentes admitted to law enforcement officers that he was directed by a Russian government official to conduct this operation. According to court documents, messages on Fuentes’s phone showed that the Russian official initiated and directed the meetings.”

Héctor Alejandro Cabrera is a prominent scientist known for developing an advanced technique to prevent and treat strokes. Throughout his career, the Mexican scientist received several awards.

Sources claim Cabrera told FBI agents that he has a Russian wife and two daughters, who weren’t allowed to leave Russia and live with him abroad. A Russian agent contacted him and told him he would help his family if he worked as a spy for the Russian government.

The Mexican scientist is an expert in Molecular Cardiology and was awarded for his research on atherosclerosis in 2018. He received the International Society for Heart Research Award in 2016, among many other awards.

In his hometown located in the Tehuantepec Isthmus, people don’t believe the scientist is a spy working for the Russians. Some of them claim the Mexican scientist is being targeted by pharmaceutical companies that don’t approve of his work, which could cure diabetes and prevent strokes.

In El Espinal, Fuentes has helped the community to rebuild several homes after the 2017 earthquake, encourages students to get involved in science, and advises the local government in the construction of a research center.

On February 21, during a hearing, Fuentes was officially notified of his detention. The next hearing will take place on March 3, when he will learn the charges against him.

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