Friday, February 14, 2020

Anti-Corruption Victory

I am not a fan of the new Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but he may have just won a significant victory in his anti-corruption crusade.  Yesterday the headlines in the newspapers told of the arrest in Spain of politician Emilio Lozoya.

Leading up to the 2012 presidential election in Mexico, Lozoya was a member of the campaign team for candidate Enrique Peña Nieto ("Enrique the Corrupt").  Lozoya received a 10 million dollar campaign contribution from Odebrecht, a Brazilian conglomerate that has been involved in numerous scandals.  After Peña Nieto´s victory, the president named Lozoya to be the director of PEMEX, the government owned petroleum company (which has a long history of corruption and abuse).  Lozoya then granted enormous contracts to Odebrecht.  It also came to light that Lozoya had bought a 38 million dollar house in cash.  The official in charge of electoral crimes who was investigating the Odebrecht scandal was then fired by President "Enrique the Corrupt".

After López Obrador was elected President in 2018, a judge ordered Lozoya's arrest.  However, Lozoya had fled the country.  This week Spanish police caught up with him and placed him under arrest.  The Spanish judge described him as a flight risk, and he is being held in jail until Mexico issues an extradition request.

The bottom newspaper in the newstand photo says that Peña Nieto's people are trembling.  Lozoya's lawyers are demanding the investigation of everyone involved in the scandal, which could implicate others in the Peña Nieto administration perhaps even "Enrique the Corrupt" himself.

Let's just hope that President López Obrador doesn't end up bungling this case. 

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