Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds a news conference in Mexico City. File picture: Henry Romero/Reuters
Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds a news conference in Mexico City. File picture: Henry Romero/Reuters

Mexico’s president says predecessors must testify to clear their names in Pemex graft scandal

By DPA Time of article published Aug 12, 2020

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Mexico City - Two former Mexican presidents should be called to testify in a corruption scandal that threatens to tarnish their governments, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday.

"What happens now? Let them be called to testify," Lopez Obrador said in a reference to his predecessors Enrique Pena Nieto (2012-2018) and Felipe Calderon (2006-2012).

The president made the comments after Emilio Lozoya, who headed the national oil company Pemex from 2012 to 2016, accused Pena Nieto of corruption and also raised that possibility concerning the Calderon government.

It is the highest-profile graft case under Lopez Obrador, who has announced a crusade against the large-scale corruption plaguing the country.

Lozoya, who was extradited from Spain in July to face graft charges in Mexico, worked for Pena Nieto's 2012 presidential campaign.

As part of his collaboration with the judiciary, he said that more than 100 million pesos (4.5 million dollars) were channelled from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht into the campaign.

Odebrecht is at the centre of a continent-wide corruption scandal and has admitted to paying nearly 800 million dollars in bribes in 12 countries, 10 of them in Latin America.

Lozoya said Pena Nieto and his finance minister-to-be Luis Videgaray ordered him to transfer Odebrecht funds to foreign campaign advisers.

He also said 120 million pesos were used to buy votes of lawmakers during Pena Nieto's presidency, and reported irregularities in the construction of the Etileno XXI petrochemical plant by an Odebrecht subsidiary under the Calderon government.

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