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Emilio Lozoya and the 40 (plus or minus) thieves

20 August 2020

This wasn’t a leak… this was a tsunami.

In what’s basically a plea bargain deal, the fugitive former CEO of PEMEX, extradited from Spain to answer for charges that he handled bribes for Odebrecht (the Brazilian construction firm whose bribery of public officials from Angola to Ecuador, including Mexico, in return for state contracts) has been busy writing up his “denunciacion”.  Although neither Lozoya nor the Federal Prosecutor will claim credit or blame for it, the 63 page document (nicely broken down into chapters) made its way to the media earlier this week, fingering three ex-presidents, five former cabinet secretaries, two sitting governors, another former PEMEX CEO, the former head of the government housing credit bureau (INFONOVIT), and at least one journalist for “acts possibly constituting a crime.”

Dated 11 August, the document details which public servants were paid off, and how much each received over the last 12 years.   Although Lozano never quite establishes any of the allegations amount to “treason” (the only criminal charge that can be brought against a sitting or former President) he makes the case that by allowing a foreign company to determine the nation’s energy policy he, and others, “subjugated [Mexico] to foreign individuals and groups”. 

In addition, during Felipe Calderón’s administration, Lozoya’s “denunciacion” details how Odebrect’s subsidary, Braskem, was given a sweetheart deal, allowing it to buy ethane at “an inexplicable discount” resulting millions of dollar losses for the federal treasury.   Former president  Carlos Salinas de Gortari figures in, having used his influence (and Odebrect money) to “block” investments in a state owned ammonia plant, which was then sold to a private corporation at a fraction of its real value at the insistence of President Peña Nietro and his Secretary of the Treasury. 

Lozoya also names Videgaray as a bag-man, handling distribution of bribes given to him directly by the Brazilian company’s CEO, Marcelo Odebrecht.

The names named are a “who’s who” of the PRI and PAN establishment, including 2018 presidential candidates Ricardo Anaya and José Antonio Meade.  The two sitting governors, both from PAN, Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca of Tamaulipas, and Francisco Domínguez Servién of Querétaro, stand out as, in Lozoya’s confessions, as “extortionists”… as Senators, conditioning their support of energy “reforms” on multi-million pesos bribes… to which, it appears, Odebrect paid.  Amusingly, a video was also leaked, showing Governor Dominguez’ personal secretary counting out bags of cash said to have been received by his boss.

In the document, Emilio Lozoya compares the coordinated (alleged) participation in corruption to organized crime, writing:

“… there was an agreement to implement an organized apparatus of power that, from the highest levels of the regime, implemented what was necessary, including the Legislative Power, to obtain benefits that affected the sovereignty of Mexico, subjecting it to national and foreign individuals and groups.”

In other words, “treason”.

The only one who seems to have been bought cheaply was journalist Lourdes Mendoza, who was paid to write flattering stories about Luis Videgaray.  Her price was about a thousand US dollars worth of Chanel beauty products and he kid’s tuition at a private school.   

One Comment leave one →
  1. Esther Klein Buddenhagen permalink
    21 August 2020 10:13 am

    Muchas gracias, Richard. Now I feel like I have a bit of a handle on this.

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