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The Mexican scientist with a double life who ended up being a Putin spy in Miami

Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes had to fulfill a mission out of necessity, but everything went wrong.

Spy stories seem to only exist in Hollywood, but they don’t. Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes (37) was for years the image of an outstanding Mexican, tHe had a career as an impeccable scientist and a successful life. But not everything was rosy.

The man had decided to work on his research in Germany Y Russia. At one point in his life, the Russian government had him between a rock and a hard place and he began working as a spy. ANDn 2019, he moved to USA to fulfill an entrusted mission, and unfortunately for him, fHe was arrested a year later in Miami.

The case caused a stir in Mexico. Cabrera Fuentes was accused by the Florida Court of acting as “an agent of a foreign government.” The man, after pleading guilty, was sentenced to four years in prison.

Héctor Fuentes was born in Oaxaca, the poorest state in Mexico.


Héctor Fuentes was born in Oaxaca, the poorest state in Mexico.

a spotless life

Héctor Alejandro Cabrera was born in 1985 in Mexico. He grew up in El Espinal, a small neighborhood in the Isthmus region of Oaxaca, one of the poorest states in the country. Since he was a child he always had a vocation as a scientist. The book “Microbe Hunters”, by the American scientist Paul de Kruif, changed his life and made him interested in the world of microbiology. Likewise, his example and idol of his profession was the Russian Ilyich Mechnikov.

After completing his secondary studies, he attended university in the state of Puebla. Due to his excellent grades, he concluded his studies at the Federal University of Kazan (Russia). Cabrera continued training and specialized in molecular biology. In addition, he received his doctorate in biochemistry and microbiology at the University of Giessen (Germany).

Among his most outstanding works was the development of a treatment to regenerate burned skin developed at the Center for Biotechnology-Femsa of the Technological Institute of Monterrey (Mexico).

He founded the civil organization “For Oaxaca more researchers”, dedicated to promoting science in young Mexicans. Through this civil society, Cabrera Fuentes managed the educational stay of low-income students abroad.

personal scandals

Hector didn’t have a single blemish on his resume. He was a man who came from below and managed to reach the scientific elite. Although professionally successful, his personal life was full of dark things that were about to be uncovered.

Hector received his doctorate in biochemistry and microbiology at the University of Giessen (Germany).


Hector received his doctorate in biochemistry and microbiology at the University of Giessen (Germany).

Hector had a wife in Mexico and another in Russia. And he had children by both women. In May 2019, Cabrera Fuentes traveled to Moscow to get his European family to obtain authorization to leave Russia to go live in Germany, where his wife was from. This situation was complicated because the woman had legal problems in that country.

The man met for the first time with his contact with the Putin government. “We can both help each other,” the man, whose identity has not been revealed, told him. The deal was simple: the Mexican scientist did what was asked of him in exchange for the mysterious official unblocking his family’s departure from the country. From there, there was no turning back.

His mission was to locate in Florida a vehicle belonging to a Washington collaborator who provided information about the Russian government. The scientist began collaborating and maintaining constant communication with the Kremlin intelligence apparatus since March 2019.

Cabrera Fuentes traveled to the city of Miami to carry out the task. After illegally entering a condominium, he found the indicated vehicle and took the photos corresponding to his mission.

The scientist began to collaborate and maintain constant communication with the Kremlin intelligence apparatus since March 2019.


The scientist began to collaborate and maintain constant communication with the Kremlin intelligence apparatus since March 2019.

Héctor felt that his task was accomplished, but while trying to leave the United States on February 16, 2020, he was intercepted at the airport by federal agents. On one of his phones, “they found a close-up image of the US government source’s vehicle license plate in his phone’s ‘recently deleted’ folder.”

Cabrera admitted before the US authorities that Russia had pressured him to become an informer in exchange for getting his two daughters and his wife out of that country.

hero and villain

In Oaxaca he is a legend. In Miami he is a spy. Family, friends and acquaintances were full of praise when they spoke of him. In El Espinal, Cabrera’s hometown in Oaxaca, people were convinced that it was all a lie.

The truth is that the accusation was very real and the man faced a maximum sentence of 10 years, but the guilty plea and an agreement with prosecutors reduced his sentence.

His defense presented several letters to the judge, some of the investigators who knew him and asked that the trajectory of the Mexican before being sentenced be taken into account. The Mexican scientist: Héctor Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, in the court of Florida, He was sentenced to four years in prison for espionage..​

Its history revolutionized three countries: Mexico, the United States and Russia, and also intensified the “Cold War”. Today, the man continues to serve his sentence in a Miami jail, looking forward to 2023 to be free again.

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