Who's benefiting from the ousting of the Prosecutor?

Under Reserve features fact-checked news written by journalists and contributors to EL UNIVERSAL
Santiago Nieto - Adrián Hernández/INFORMA
23/10/2017
10:00
Mexico City
OPINION: Under Reserve
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Who's benefiting from the ousting of the Prosecutor?

After the sudden discharge of Santiago Nieto from his post as head of the Specialized Attorney's Office against Electoral Crimes (FEPADE), dozens of pending investigations have been halted – not only those against former Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Governors, but also those on the possible links between the Odebrecht corruption case and electoral issues. The same goes for all the investigations on the misuse of social programs to benefit earthquake victims. We're told the former Prosecutor has opened seven cases on the misuse of such programs in the State of Mexico, Morelos, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, Guanajuato, and the Coyoacán borough in Mexico City. The inquiries, we've been told, are still in being reviewed since Nieto asked the specialized services of the Mexican Office of the Attorney General (PGR) to check the videos provided by the citizens, plaintiffs, and human rights defenders, in order to identify those who committed the alleged crimes, but also the public officials who could be behind them. And finally, the ousting of Nieto means it will take longer to know who was benefiting from the tragedy after the earthquakes. Thus, in the meantime, those who are celebrating are the electoral criminals, since they could end up benefiting from this event.

Head of the PGR, to the dock

And regarding the case of the ousted Prosecutor, the one who will have a couple of hard days ahead of him is the Deputy Attorney General who's acting as the Attorney General of the Republic, Alberto Beltrán. We're told several Parliament groups of the Senate have agreed they won't allow Mr. Alberto to avoid a meeting with them to explain the discharge of the Electoral Crimes Prosecutor, Santiago Nieto. We're told the opposition groups want a detailed explanation of the reasons and arguments in favor of his dismissal. Our sources say the coordinator of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), Luis Sánchez, has made it very clear that, whether as part of the proceeding to appeal the decision or as part of a hearing, this public official will have to explain in great detail if the destitution was done pursuant to the Law, of if there were political reasons behind it; the Parliament is particularly worried this decision had something to do with the investgation Nieto was leading regarding the Odebrecht-Pemex corruption case.

The AMLO exodus

The national leader of the National Regeneration Party (MORENA), Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has already proposed a policy he promises to implement if he wins the Presidency, but in the meantime, it's quite the attractive campaign proposal. Mr. Andrés said that, should his party win in 2018, he will promote the exodus of dozens of thousands of Government employees to other states of the Republic. This, he said, is one of the proposals of the Alternative Nation Project his party will propose on November 20. The objetive of the strategy is to decentralize the Federal Government to boost the development of other regions and reduce the concentration in Mexico City. Given the events of September 19, the city showed itself vulnerable, he said, so he has "let them know, to all those [his party] will appoint, that if they accept the post, they most likely won't live in Mexico City any more.” An attractive proposal at a time when many have considered the posibility of moving to another state given the fear of a new earthquake.

Skipping the line

The trend of the Governor spouse seeking to leave his partner at the helm is about to be repeated, but this time within the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). We're told some PRD members are worried because Evodio Velázquez, current municipal president of Acapulco, has a plan which isn't necessarily to the liking of the rest. Our sources say Evodio has pitched them the idea of “skipping” his current term of office, twice, mind you, as he wants to be a candidate to Senator, for which he will request a leave of absence before his term of office conclude in October 2018. The problem is that Mr. Evodio has also told them he wants the candidate to his port to be his wife, Perla Martínez. With this proposal, PRD members who want Evodio to reelect himself now that the law allows it, are afraid to lose Acapulco, since it will be quite complicated to convince the people it's a good idea that Ms. Perla replaces her husband.

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