Emilio Lozoya speaks up, implicates former Mexican president, Enrique Peña Nieto
In statements made by Lozoya on Aug. 11, Mexico’s former president, is accused of receiving bribes to finance his election campaign back in 2012.
According to recent revelations from testimony by former Pemex CEO Emilio Lozoya, former Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto benefited from million-dollar deals that helped him fund his campaign, and also pay off public secretaries to support the reforms made during his six-year term.
The total amount of money used in the transactions reaches over 500 million pesos.
After his declarations on Tuesday, Lozoya became the witness for one of the biggest corruption scandals in Mexico in recent years, since it is the first time in the country’s history that a former president is involved in bribery scandals.
It doesn’t mean that previous presidents haven’t been involved with corruption before, however this time, accusations against Peña Nieto are formal and he may need to go to trial.
In a video posted by Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR), Alejandro Gertz Manero stated that not only is Peña Nieto involved in bribery, but also former Secretary of Finance, Luis Videgaray, who financed campaigns with money from Brazilian company, Obredecht, and is also incriminated for corrupt transactions in three different continents.
Lozoya, who during Peña Nieto's six-year term served as director of oil company Pemex, was arrested in Spain back in February.
After being charged by corruption, the former director was extradited back to Mexico last month because he was willing to cooperate with authorities.
The perfect timing of his arrival to Mexico and the magnitude of his declarations made people doubt Andrés Manuel López Obrador's government.
Mexico’s President has made fighting against corruption a trademark of his administration, however, the oil director’s detention as well as his testimony seem to be an attempt from the government to blur the difficult moment Mexico is experiencing around COVID-19.
People remain skeptical, not only because the declarations took place in the middle of a pandemic and during extraordinary circumstances, but also because it came during the one of the worst economic and violent downturns in Mexico’s history.
The former Pemex director will remain on trial while prosecutors analyze the usefulness of the information he has provided and the evidence, including a video and receipts that would support bribery claims.
Since he applied for an “opportunity criterion,” corruption and criminal charges against him will be removed only if his accusations against other public figures are approved.
The Office of Attorney General has the next six months to make a final decision on the case.