El Bronco fined for “irregular financing”

The National Electoral Institute has fined the independent candidate for irregularities found in the funding of his campaign

“El Bronco” fined for “irregular financing”
Jaime Rodríguez Calderón – Photo: Margo Ugarte/AP
English 29/05/2018 11:28 Newsroom Mexico City Carina García, Alberto Morales & Diana Lastiri Actualizada 11:33

The National Electoral Institute (INE) has notified the Money Laundering Specialized Unit of Mexico's Office of the Attorney General (PGR) of the possible embezzlement of public funds and tax fraud of independent candidate Jaime Rodriguez Calderón (El Bronco).

The irregularities in the financing of Rodríguez's campaign ascend to MXN$ 13.6 million, which allegedly took place during the signature gathering stage of his candidacy.

The General Council of the INE has fined Rodríguez for MXN$ 739,000 for the anomalies detected and has ordered an investigation into MXN$ 11 million that, according to their suspicions, are part of a “weave of deposits” performed by 59 alleged sympathizers of the candidate.

According to the President Councilor of the Institute, Lorenzo Córdova, the matter isn't about politics. “This takes place once there is enough information to present conclusions,” he stated.

The INE discovered that Rodríguez received several contributions which he made appear came from individual supporters when in reality the funds came from companies and other legal entities – banned by law from funding political campaigns.

Some of the companies involved are ghost corporations, with no assets or real estates to their name, reason why the Institute has also questioned the licit proceeding of the funds.

There is also the matter of the state government employees who allegedly worked in gathering signatures to register his candidacy during their working hours.

For his part, Jaime Rodríguez Calderón denied that he had triangulated funds to finance his campaign and claimed that as soon as he receives the notification of the fine, he will appear before the Electoral Court of the Judicial Branch (TEPJF) to appeal.

The candidate acknowledges that he withdrew MXN$ 250,000 from the account of one of his companies and later on deposited the funds in his personal account to fund his campaign, given that the Electoral Law prohibits legal entities from making money contributions to campaigns.