Investigation reveals links between Sembrando Vida and AMLO’s sons’ cacao plantation

Source: Mexico News Daily

President López Obrador’s adult sons and a childhood friend of one of them are at the center of a new investigation that raises yet more questions about Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life), the federal government’s tree-planting employment program.

Published by six media organizations including the news magazine Proceso and the digital newspaper Aristegui Noticias, the investigation focuses on cacao entrepreneur Hugo Chávez Ayala, his involvement in Sembrando Vida and his connection to a cacao plantation in Tabasco owned by Andrés Manuel López Beltrán and the president’s two other sons from his first marriage.


Ex-Pemex chief offers to pay US $5 million in exchange for release


Source: Mexico News Daily

Former Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya is attempting to buy his way out of prison by paying US $5 million to compensate for the corruption of which he is accused.

Lozoya, head of the state oil company between 2012 and 2016, was remanded in preventative custody last week in connection with the Odebrecht case in which the Brazilian construction company paid multi-million dollar bribes in exchange for US $180 million Pemex contracts to complete work at the refinery in Tula, Hidalgo.


Mexico anti-money laundering chief resigns amid scandal

Source: Al Jazeera

The head of Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), the agency in charge of cracking down on money-laundering operations, has resigned following a scandal related to his wedding in Guatemala.

Santiago Nieto, long seen as a trusted ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in his campaign to root out corruption, stepped down from the position on Monday.


Mexican judge jails ex-Pemex boss at center of corruption case


Source: Reuters

A Mexican judge ordered the incarceration on Wednesday of Emilio Lozoya, the former chief executive of state oil company Pemex, while his corruption trial plays out, in a case critics argued has offered the embattled ex-CEO preferential treatment.

Lozoya was extradited to Mexico from Spain last year and is at the center of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s campaign to expose corruption that he says was rampant in past governments before he took office in late 2018.


Official in Nuevo León linked to company that owns 90 luxury cars

Source: Mexico News Daily

Nuevo León Governor Samuel García has accused a former official of corruption, claiming that he used public resources to buy as many as 90 luxury cars during a 12-year career in the state water department.

The value of the vehicles purchased by Juan Pulido, a former operations director at the Monterrey Water and Drainage Service (SADM), far exceeded his salary, the governor told a press conference.


Lopez Obrador says Mexican nationals in Pandora Papers should be investigated


Source: Reuters

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he was in favor of investigating Mexican nationals who appear in a series of documents released as part of the so-called ‘Pandora Papers.’

Several major news organizations on Sunday published details from a massive new leak of financial documents showing heads of state, serving and former government officials, and business leaders with stashes of offshore wealth.


Pandora Papers in Latin America: Three active heads of state and 11 former presidents operated in tax havens


Source: El País in English

Three current and 11 retired presidents, 90 politicians in the upper echelons of power, entire religious congregations, world-famous artists, billionaires and even the governor of a central bank; in Latin America, a constellation of influential figures has made use of tax havens over the years.

Despite inhabiting the region dogged by more inequality than anywhere else in the world, members of its elite have used a network of trusts, shell companies and opaque business records in places such as the British Virgin Islands and Panama to keep a substantial portion of their assets from public scrutiny.


Interpol issues arrest warrant for Mexican airline co-founder


Source: Reuters

Interpol has at Mexico’s request issued an international arrest warrant for Miguel Aleman, co-founder of budget airline Interjet, on criminal tax fraud charges, according to government sources and Mexican media.

Last month, prosecutors issued a national arrest warrant for Aleman, the grandson of a former president and the son of an ex-governor of Veracruz state.


Mexico urges Israel to extradite former investigator in 43 missing students case


Source: The Guardian

Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has urged Israel to cooperate in extraditing a former top investigator wanted in connection with the disappearance of 43 students in 2014.

Mexico wants Israel to arrest Tomás Zerón, who headed the Criminal Investigation Agency, over allegations of serious irregularities in the inquiry into one of the country’s worst human rights tragedies.

“I hope the government of Israel acts with respect for human rights, because the extradition of this public official is being requested, among other things, for acts of torture,” López Obrador told reporters.


208 years for Mexican expert over quake-collapsed school


Source: AP News

A judge sentenced a Mexican building expert to 208 years in prison Wednesday for signing off on defective remodeling work blamed in the collapse of school that killed 26 people during a 2017 earthquake.

It was the longest sentence yet handed down in relation to the magnitude 7.1 quake of Sept. 19, 2017, though it is largely symbolic, because Mexico does not permit life imprisonment and limits sentences to 60 years.

City prosecutors said Juan Mario Velarde, the “responsible director” of the remodeling, was convicted of 26 counts of homicide. He is one of hundreds of private experts who are paid to oversee safety and standards on building sites.