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President Mexico: “Former Presidents must testify about alleged bribery”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wants his two predecessors to testify about an alleged bribery scandal surrounding state oil company Pemex. With this, Lopez Obrador responded to corruption accusations by former Pemex CEO Emilio Loyoza against former president Enrique Peña Nieto, among others.

Lopez Obrador’s appeal to former Presidents Peña Nieto and Felipe Calderon to speak with the prosecution is part of its crusade against widespread corruption within the Mexican government. Lopez Obrador also wants the said parliamentarians and senators to testify. He said that at his daily press conference. The president said not to assume in advance that they are actually guilty.

Bribes

Former Pemex CEO Loyoza said Tuesday that Peña Nieto and his finance minister had put pressure on him in 2012 to pay bribes to Peña Nieto’s campaign. Loyoza himself is also accused of corruption and decided to testify so that he does not have to wait for the final charges in custody.

Former President Peña Nieto of Mexico.
©EPA – Former President Peña Nieto of Mexico.

The appeal to Lopez Obrador’s right-wing rival Calderon, president from 2006 to 2012, is striking because his name had not yet been mentioned in the statements of Loyoza’s testimonials. Calderon, who hopes to steal seats from Lopez Obrador’s party in parliamentary elections next year, thinks any evidence against him should be made public.

The Mexican former president Felipe Calderon
©AP – The Mexican former president Felipe Calderon

Kickbacks

Former Pemex CEO Lozoya is suspected of accepting more than 10 million dollars in bribes from Odebrecht. This Brazilian construction company is at the heart of a major corruption scandal in Latin America. In return, Pemex is said to have awarded contracts to Odebrecht.

Much of Odebrecht’s bribes would have ended up in the pockets of Penã Nieto’s campaigners. Odebrecht has admitted to paying bribes in Mexico in the past.

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