In the first circle of the president there are indications of irregularities
For years, one of the main harangues by Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been the fight against corruption, but the facts show that the “main cancer in Mexico”, as the president himself has pointed out, continues to spread throughout his close circle.
There are many samples, both within his family and in the cabinet of who today holds the presidential chair.
One of the phrases most used by the tenant of the National Palace is that “the stairs are swept from top to bottom” in reference to the “clean” that -according to him- is being carried out within the government. However, it seems that the bristles of the broom have not reached the characters closest to the 4T.
Photo: EFE / José Méndez / Archive
One of the clearest examples of this is the current head of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) Manuel Bartlett Díaz, who regardless of the corruption or ineptness scandals in which he is involved, the Puebla politician enjoys the full support of the president of the Republic.
This was revealed again on Wednesday, December 30, when López Obrador gave him a new boost in the face of the voices calling for the resignation of the head of the CFE, after the national blackout that occurred last Monday, and according to the explanations of the Bartlett himself, was due to the fire in some grasslands located in Tamaulipas, which has been denied by the state government itself, and even accused the Federal Electricity Commission of having falsified a document with which it sought to hold the Tamaulipas administration responsible.
During his traditional morning conference at the National Palace, Andrés Manuel López Obrador assured that there is a campaign against Bartlett Díaz and made it clear that whoever messes with the head of the CFE is facing the same president, since it was he who He named.
“It is evident that these conservatives and many do not want Manuel Bartlett, I respect everyone, there is a group that does not want Bartlett .. Moreover, it is not with Manuel Bartlett, it is with the president because Bartlett depends on the head of the Executive, I named it. They think that Manuel Bartlett is the intransigent one, no, it’s that I am asking him to go (against) those contracts, we are not going to be accomplices of corruption ”, assured López Obrador.
84-year-old Manuel Bartlett spent practically his entire political career of more than half a century in the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
There are those who remember him as the great architect of the so-called “fall of the system” in the electoral results of 1988 and thanks to which, Carlos Salinas de Gortari “won” the presidency of the country.
Although the event marked him forever, his political career did not stop and he continued to climb important positions under the umbrella of the tricolor party, such as the governorship of his native state, Puebla.
However, he resigned from the party in 2006 and called on the PRI to give a “useful vote” in favor of then-presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador. His incorporation into the Labor Party (PT) took him back to the Senate of the Republic where he became the party’s parliamentary coordinator.
Later, he strengthened his relationship with Andrés Manuel López Obrador who, after winning the elections as president of the Republic in 2018, appointed him as director of the Federal Electricity Commission, a position where despite the scandals in which he has been involved, still in front.
Photo: EFE / Mario Guzmán / File
On August 28, 2019, journalist Carlos Loret de Mola announced that the current director of the CFE has a fortune 16 times greater than that reported to the Ministry of Public Administration (SFP).
According to the information, Bartlett Díaz would have a wealth of 51 million pesos in annual income, although his perceptions are lower, considering the value of the alleged properties in his name, that of his children, and his sentimental partner, Julia Abdala.
The investigation revealed that through relatives, companies and presumed names, the CFE director acquired a real estate empire of 25 properties, with a value of more than 800 million pesos, and together with his relatives they own 12 companies.
Bartlett Díaz “omitted” to include them in his declaration because he is not married, and because his children are of legal age.
After the scandal, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador gave a boost to Bartlett and assured that they were attacks and “an attempt to discredit” on the part of “the conservatives” and the “fifí press”.
In May 2020, just as Mexico was going through the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a journalistic investigation carried out by Mexicans against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI) revealed that the company Cyber Robotics Solutions, owned by León Manuel Bartlett Álvarez, son of the director of the CFE, sold to the government of the state of Hidalgo, respiratory ventilators to treat patients with coronavirus at a higher price than the market.
According to the investigation, the IMSS delegation in Hidalgo assigned Cyber Robotics Solutions a contract for 31 million pesos for 20 respiratory ventilators, that is, 1,550,000 pesos for each piece of equipment, “which is the highest price since the declaration of the health emergency due to Covid-19 ”.
The Government of Mexico sanctioned and disqualified the company of Manuel Bartlett’s son who sold ventilators for COVID-19 patients at a surcharge to the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS). (Photo: EFE / EPA / RONALD WITTEK / File)
The investigation caused a scandal. In some journalistic interviews, León Manuel Bartlett Álvarez defended himself and assured that there was no conflict of interest. On May 13, the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) issued an act of rejection to return the 20 ventilators that it bought from León Manuel Bartlett, arguing that it did not meet the requirements.
In an alleged investigation carried out by the Ministry of Public Administration, its owner, Irma Eréndira Sandoval, assured that there was no damage to the national treasury since as a result of the investigation, the acquisition process was suspended.
In the midst of the controversy, the journalist Carlos Loret de Mola revealed that the contract for respiratory ventilators at a premium is not the only one. He explained that León Manuel Bartlett had obtained at least seven contracts with the federal government for an amount of 162 million pesos.
Days later, on Sunday, May 10, the communicator revealed that the house from which Andrés Manuel López Obrador dispatched as a presidential candidate and during the transition stage, had a dark relationship with Manuel Bartlett.
The Porfirian house located at Calle de Chihuahua # 216 in the Roma neighborhood, was owned by José de Jesús Hernández Torres, who would have worked for 49 years with Bartlett Díaz. The rent of the property amounted to 130 thousand pesos per month for one year and four months, in addition to making a deposit for 452,400 pesos.
Since 1997, the company “Top Real Estate Company, SA de CV” whose majority shareholder is Hernández Torres and is also a partner of Bartlett’s son.
Ana Gabriela Guevara
PHOTO: GALO CAÑAS / CUARTOSCURO
The Olympic medalist originally from Sonora, came to the National Sports Commission (Conade) in the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, under high expectations, but it soon became clear that the corruption embedded in the body would not change.
In January 2008, when he announced his retirement from the athletics tracks, Guevara Espinoza emphasized corruption and impunity in the sport But 12 years after she announced her retirement and now as a public official, Ana Gabriela has at least three investigations against her, two of them are by the Secretariat of Public Function (SFP).
According to journalistic investigations, Conade has operated with a network of “billing” companies through which it has misappropriated resources from the Trust Fund for High Performance Sports (Fodepar).
Conade employees have hired services from the companies Catering Housekeeping, Hospitality and Feeding Services , Edgar García Morales y Asociados, Proyectos Científicos y Tecnológicos del Sur and SEINGE, which were paid with funds from Fodepar. The committed amount is around 100 million pesos.
PHOTO: MARIO JASSO / CUARTOSCURO
A common characteristic among these companies is that their tax domicile is in Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche. They were registered in the Public Registry of Commerce between 2016 and 2018. Some of the aforementioned were detected by the Public Function in the investigation carried out since the beginning of the year.
It was in February that the SFP announced that there were irregularities in the allocation and verification of 50.8 million pesos from Fodepar, money that corresponds to the first semester of 2019. For the verification of resources, documentation lacking fiscal validity was used.
The Fonder was one of the 109 trusts that disappeared on the orders of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Despite this background, Ana Gabriela Guevara Espinoza tried to run for the governorship of Sonora, her homeland, but in the end she was not considered by the Labor Party.
David León Romero, one of the Q4 officials who had a meteoric rise, saw his decline arrive quickly, in the same way as he rose in national politics.
He began his career as a spokesperson for the Green Party in the Senate and later was communication coordinator for the former governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco Coello.
In the first two years of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration, he served as the national coordinator of Civil Protection. On July 30, 2020, the president announced the creation of a company in charge of the distribution of medicines at the national level, which would be led by León Romero.
That day, the president expressed himself like this about David León.
“Imagine how important it is to us that one of the best public servants in the government is going to take charge of this matter. He will no longer be in Civil Protection, and boy has he helped us a lot now with the hurricane that affected the north, he was there, “ added the president.
Days later, on August 20, Carlos Loret de Mola released a video in which David León was observed giving cash to Pío López Obrador, brother of the President of the Republic. The money was allegedly for the 2018 presidential campaign.
After the scandal, León Romero submitted his resignation and said that he would go voluntarily to the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) to “place himself at his orders.”
For his part, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador assured that the video (recorded by David León himself) was not a matter of corruption, but rather that the delivery of cash was “contributions” to strengthen the movement. He even dared to say that the images were a reaction from his adversaries to his decision to end corruption.
The president’s brother filed a lawsuit against the person responsible for the dissemination of the videos. He described the disclosure of the videos as “facts allegedly constituting crimes committed to the detriment of his person and his family (…) through the Latinus communication space, directed by journalist Carlos Loret de Mola.”
That is why he demanded, criminally punish whoever released the videos. The penalties could range from six to 12 years in prison and 300 to 600 days of fine.
After the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) headed by Santiago Nieto carried out an “investigation”, it determined that it found no evidence of money laundering or triangulation of resources on the finances of the president’s brother or David León. However, he noted that it was yet to be determined whether electoral crimes had been committed.
The National Electoral Institute (INE) began an investigation, but at the end of November, the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Power (TEPJF) reported that the project that sought to reject the complaint of Pío López Obrador, brother of the president of Mexico, in against the INE’s investigations was reversed.
In such a way that the Electoral Tribunal will analyze in detail whether the INE should continue with the investigations against Pío López. A determination has not yet been made.
Irma Eréndira Sandoval
PHOTO: GALO CAÑAS / CUARTOSCURO
Last June, Irma Eréndira Sandoval, head of the Ministry of Public Function – a unit in charge of ensuring that federal public servants adhere to the law during the exercise of their functions, as well as sanctioning those who do not do so- , was involved in the eye of the hurricane, after a journalistic investigation carried out by the Latinus portal revealed that the official and her partner, researcher John Ackerman – both very close to López Obrador – have millionaire properties.
When the current Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, governed in Mexico City, Irma Eréndira Sandoval received as a gift a 253-square-meter plot of land south of the capital that today is valued at six million pesos.
In addition, it was found that the couple has another five properties acquired in just nine years when both were working as academics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). All of them were paid in cash and are located in areas of high capital gain in the country’s capital and in the municipality of Tepoztlán, Morelos.
The total cost of the properties rises to 60 million pesos, according to market appraisals. This figure is five times higher than what the official reported on her real estate as part of López Obrador’s cabinet.
In her statement of assets, Eréndira Sandoval detailed that the six properties were acquired jointly with her husband and total a total of 9 million 255 thousand pesos. However, these are outdated data.
The official only released two houses and three apartments with the acquisition prices excused in the General Law of Administrative Responsibilities.
Despite the accusations, Irma Eréndira remains in her position as the person in charge of investigating corrupt officials.
Pablo Amílcar Sandoval
Pablo Amílcar Sandova, brother of Irma Eréndira Sandoval
Pablo Amílcar Sandoval, brother of the Secretary of Public Function, was one of the so-called Superdelegates of the government of the 4T, that is, those officials who supervise the resources of the federal social programs.
Despite the obvious case of nepotism, Pablo Amílcar Sandoval continued to serve as Superdelegate in Guerrero, a state he aspires to govern, amid accusations of proselytizing when he was still a public official. They claim that he would have presumed the federal government’s social programs as his own.
He describes himself as a “descendant of a line of struggle and social commitment” and stands out as the son of the lawyer Pablo Sandoval Ramírez, leader of the student movement of the sixties, university unionist and the first man from Guerrero to hold the position of president of the Chamber of Deputies. .
Pablo Amílcar Sandova, brother of Irma Eréndira Sandoval
Regarding his studies, he mentions on his personal website that he has a degree in Economics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), as well as postgraduate studies at Yale University. Besides that, he qualifies as an “expert on democracy, federalism and economic policy.”
Despite claiming to be from the “left” and sticking to the fundamentals of the 4T as the so-called “republican austerity”, Pablo Amílcar Sandoval was caught using an armored 4×4 truck and with escorts.
The event occurred when he was registered as a candidate for the governorship of Guerrero. Irma Sandoval’s brother was videotaped when he appeared at the headquarters of the bench, located in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City, to call for unity and internal cohesion.
The vehicle in which it was transported was a white RAM Limited truck, whose commercial value is one million 299 thousand pesos, according to the prices of the concessionaires.
Ricardo Rodriguez Vargas
Photo: / Presidency
Last September, the Institute to Give Back to the People the Stolen (Indep), the emblematic institution of the Fourth Transformation created by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador with the promise of “ending the corruption and looting of previous governments”, was involved in a corruption scandal.
The rumors began a long time ago when Ricardo Rodríguez Vargas was its owner, but after the resignation letter of the new head of the Institute, Jaime Cárdenas, was announced – which occurred on September 21, 2020 – it would be confirmed that within of the Institute, conceived to combat “the cancer of corruption” that infested the old Service of Administration and Disposal of Assets (SAE), continues to grow without being annihilated.
But instead of supporting and above all, sending an investigation into what Cárdenas denounced, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador threw his lawyer and electoral representative when he was a candidate for the presidency of the Republic, as well as electoral adviser of the IFE disappeared.
The president assured that Jaime Cárdenas “did not enter” to clean up Indep.
“Cleaning, which was what Jaime had to do, but it didn’t work for him. Yesterday we were talking about how to be a public servant, especially in a transformation process, requires a will, for everything in life, convictions and courage and not give up ” , he assured.
During his traditional conference at the National Palace, the president assured that the great problems are faced, “moving forward”, and stressed that Jaime Cárdenas was afraid and impotence because he did not know how to handle things within Indep.
(Photo: Twitter @ IndepOficial)
But Jaime Cárdenas’s response came through an interview.
He assured that his loyalty to López Obrador and the federal government was not blind but thoughtful, and that was where the problems began. He said that although the president has many criticisms against him, he considers him “a good president.”
What was stated in the letter from Cárdenas García, would confirm what Ricardo Rodríguez had already reported to the Attorney General’s Office (FGR): a group of Indep officials had stolen very valuable pieces made of gold, diamonds, emeralds, ruby and sapphire from pieces that would be auctioned later.
Before his resignation, Ricardo Rodríguez would have requested a re-inspection in vault 1428 of the jewelry registry for the alleged damage that they identified in the objects that were protected in it.
But according to the journalist Salvador García Soto, the departure of Ricardo Rodríguez, which was handled as a “resignation”, was actually “a sudden dismissal” ordered by the president, which – in the columnist’s consideration – confirms that in the National Palace they have since known that serious irregularities and manipulations were being committed in the auctions and the handling of assets seized and owned by the federal government.
So far, it is unknown if Ricardo Rodríguez is investigated for the corruption allegations.
Alejandro EsquerAlejandro Esquer Verdugo, Private Secretary of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Photo: gob.mx)
After his resignation from the Institute to Give Back to the People the Stolen (Indep) as a result of the corruption that was suffered within, Jaime Cárdenas revealed that Alejandro Esquer Verdugo – private secretary of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador – was the source of the evils in the interior of Indep, since it overlapped acts of corruption in the institute, in which others stole assets and did business.
But it is not the only illegitimate case in which one of the men closest to the president would be involved.
According to the journalist, Raymundo Riva Palacio in his column published in El Financiero, in August 2019, his daughter Carmelita was appointed as director of Pemex Procurement International, the division in charge of acquiring supplies for the company.
The problem is that she had no experience in that field, in addition to being chosen for that position by Octavio Romero Oropeza, current director of Pemex and an intimate character of López Obrador, the journalist highlighted.
PHOTO: MOISÉS PABLO / CUARTOSCURO
Raymundo Riva Palacio also cited a report from Eje Central, in which it was revealed that both Esquer Verdugo and Ernesto Prieto, Cárdenas’s replacement at Indep, visited a warehouse in Toluca, where they kept objects that had already been auctioned and They were taken “without making the records required by law, arguing that they were needed for the pandemic.”
Alejandro Esquer Verdugo is originally from Ciudad Obregón, Sonora and a member of the National Regeneration Movement (Morena) -a party founded by Andrés Manuel López Obrador- since 2012, and although he was a public servant in PRI governments, in the 1990s Esquer’s roads Executioner and the Tabasco politician crossed paths, and since then, he has become a close friend of the now President of the Republic.
PHOTO: MISAEL VALTIERRA / CUARTOSCURO
Carlos Lomelí Bolaños, a former federal delegate from Jalisco, was accused of conflicts of interest for allegedly having various pharmaceutical distribution companies that received million-dollar government contracts.
Lomelí Bolaños was also a federal deputy for Morena in the LXIII Legislature for Guadalajara, Jalisco, and served from 2015 to 2017, when he was singled out for benefiting his companies, Lomedic and Laboratorios Solfrán.
The foregoing was exposed thanks to an investigation carried out by Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad (MCCI), for which both companies were disqualified (2019), at the time that four of the complaints were filed with the Ministry of Public Function (SFP).
On January 24, the head of the SFP, Irma Eréndira Sandoval, announced that one of the two disqualified companies filed an appeal. This is Laboratorios Solfrán, a firm that had been incapacitated for two years and six months and a penalty of 1,051,500 pesos, but the same Federal Administrative Court of Justice ruled the definitive suspension of both penalties, however, despite the penalty, it again obtained a contract.
However, on November 11, Lomelí Bolaños himself assured that he was exonerated of the 11 accusations for which he was singled out.
He assured that on November 5, the 13th Metropolitan Regional and Auxiliary Chamber in Matters of Administrative Responsibilities did not accredit any of the faults for which they pointed it out.
“All the evidence to the Public Function of which he was accused was discarded,” he said.