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López Obrador asks former presidents Peña Nieto and Calderón to testify about Odebrecht bribes


The Mexican president maintains the idea that a trial of his predecessors should be submitted to popular consultation

Andrés Manuel López obrador, during a press conference at the National Palace of Mexico City. President of Mexico / EFE

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has reacted to the bomb dropped this Tuesday by the Mexican Prosecutor's Office. The president has said in his morning press conference that former presidents Enrique Peña Nieto, of the PRI, and Felipe Calderón, of the PAN, should be called to make a statement in court after Emilio Lozoya, the former director of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), denounce a corruption plot that involves politicians from various parties. "It implies that they be called to appear, that the two former presidents, among other public supporters, declare ... the deputy they mention, the senators, the one who was Secretary of the Treasury, Luis Videgaray, they all have to declare," said the president at the morning conference this Wednesday.

Lozoya Austin, said López Obrador, is obliged to prove the facts that he has denounced and that have shaken local politics. Mexico was the only country in Latin America where Odebrecht corruption had not triggered a political tsunami. It took time, but it is happening now thanks to the fact that the former director of the oil company, who received bribes, is cooperating with justice. Lozoya affirmed before the Prosecutor's Office that in 2012 he received from the Brazilian construction company 100 million pesos in bribes that were used in the presidential campaign of Peña Nieto, about 8 million dollars at the exchange rate of that time. This amount is higher than what Luis Alberto de Meneses Weyll, director of Odebrecht in Mexico, had confessed between 2010 and 2017, who before the Brazilian court admitted bribes for four million dollars, equivalent, at that time, to about 50 million pesos .

“There has to be support, the evidence has to be seen, there have to be witnesses, there is talk of a video, I would like to see it, like all Mexicans. Hopefully and it can be done, ”López Obrador said this morning. The president was referring to one of the many leaks that feed the Lozoya case , an alleged series of recordings that would confirm the distribution of money to deputies and senators to approve the structural reforms that the PRI government carried out with the support of the PAN, the PRD and the Green Party.

Despite his statements this morning, the president remains firm in his belief that any trial against Enrique Peña Nieto must first be submitted to a popular consultation. The president has said that the judicial process that threatens to touch the highest echelons of power in the PRI Administration should be a mechanism to reveal the truth of how political corruption operates. It would be a lesson to avoid a repeat. "I argue that we should think ahead, what we are doing, that there is no corruption," he added from the National Palace.

But the investigations that are being carried out against Emilio Lozoya are not limited to Mexico. Germany has continued to investigate the former official, who is free with a location bracelet after his arrival in Mexico from Spain. The German police searched the houses of the former director of Pemex and his wife, Marielle Helene Eckes, in Bavaria, four days after he had been extradited to their country.

“The Munich public prosecutor's office conducts an investigation on Mr. Lozoya and also on Mrs. Eckes for money laundering. In the context of the investigation, on Tuesday, July 21, we have reviewed two locations, one inside and one outside Munich, ”a spokesman for the Munich prosecutor's office confirmed to Quinto Element Lab.

According to publications in different German media, elements of the police searched an apartment in the city center, as well as a luxurious property overlooking Lake Starnberg, in an exclusive area next to the Alps.

The former director of Pemex, who is under investigation in Mexico for having received bribes from two companies, was captured in Malaga, in southern Spain, on July 17. He was later extradited to collaborate with the Mexican authorities. The searches of his wife's properties in Germany occurred four days later.

Marielle Helene Eckes belongs to one of the wealthiest families in the country and is linked to the founding of the Granini juice company, one of the largest in Europe. In Mexico she is being investigated for the crimes of operations with resources of illicit origin and criminal association. Her husband, in addition to the above charges, is also being investigated for having received bribes from Odebrecht and Altos Hornos de México (AHMSA). The judicial harassment against Lozoya's family circle, which includes investigations of her mother and sister, was decisive in convincing her to agree to a collaboration with the Mexican Prosecutor's Office.

According to the Süddeutsch Zeitung newspaper , Marielle Eckes was not present when her Munich apartment was searched. "The investigators are investigating whether Eckes and Lozoya could have hidden money from Mexico's bribes in Germany or if at least they channeled it through Germany," he explained to Quinto Element Lab. This is the first time that the police actions on this case reach the press.

"All the money related to that transaction was money from me and from a loan from my husband, every dollar used (for the purchase of the residence in Ixtapa) was obtained before my husband entered the Government," Eckes said last year when responded to a questionnaire for the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung , the Swiss newspaper Tamedia and the Quinto Element Lab .

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2020-08-12

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