Emilio Lozoya makes disturbing allegations against Peña Nieto, Calderón, Salinas, and other Mexican politicians

The Attorney General's Office launched an investigation after the document was leaked

Emilio Lozoya makes disturbing allegations against Peña Nieto, Calderón, Salinas, and other Mexican politicians
Emilio Lozoya alleges Peña Nieto and Luis Videgaray orchestrated a series of corruption acts - Photo: File photo
English 20/08/2020 13:09 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Diana Lastiri, Pedro Villa y Caña, Alfredo Fuentes & Horacio Jiménez/EL UNIVERSAL, Rafael Cabrera/AP Actualizada 11:21
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Last night, Emilio Lozoya’s lawsuit was leaked. The legal document contains explosive accusations against ex-presidents and politicians. 

The Attorney General's Office launched an investigation after the lawsuit was leaked. You can read the entire document here

In some of the most explosive accusations in recent Mexican political history, the former Pemex chief directly accused former President Enrique Peña Nieto and Luis Videgaray, the former Finance Minister, of orchestrating a scheme of kickbacks and embezzlement directly from the president’s office.

Emilio Lozoya alleges Peña Nieto and Luis Videgaray used Pemex as a conduit to “fulfill promises made during the (2012) campaign,” among other allegations he makes in a leaked 60-page document whose authenticity was confirmed by Mexican authorities on Wednesday.

Recommended: Emilio Lozoya exposes MXN 500 million bribery schemes plotted by Peña Nieto and Videgaray

“Enrique Peña Nieto and Luis Videgaray Caso created a scheme of corruption in the federal government, in which the common denominator was that all the people who supported in some way the presidential campaign had to be recompensed or repaid,” usually in the form of cushy government contracts, Lozoya wrote.

Lozoya also accused Peña Nieto and Videgaray of extortion, fraud, and embezzlement.

“The president and the aforementioned treasury secretary used me to create a criminal conspiracy aimed at enriching themselves, not only by (taking) government funds but also by extorting money from individuals and companies, fraud and deceit,” he wrote.

Spanish authorities arrested Lozoya in February and extradited to Mexico in July to face charges he took over USD 4 million in bribes from Odebrecht. But Mexican prosecutors announced they had reached an agreement with Lozoya in which he could avoid jail in return for testifying about corruption in Peña Nieto’s 2012-2018 administration.

Recommended: Emilio Lozoya says Odebrecht bribes were used to fund Enrique Peña Nieto's presidential campaign in 2012

Lozoya worked as international relations coordinator of Peña Nieto’s campaign in 2012, and he told investigators the bribes paid by Odebrecht to Mexican officials were aimed at not only winning more lucrative public works contracts for the construction giant but also at influencing Mexico’s planned sweeping energy reform, enacted once Peña Nieto was in office.

Lozoya’ said his job on the campaign was to obtain funding from foreign companies that could be used to pay foreign and Mexican consultants and to help position Peña Nieto’s image internationally.

In early 2012, Videgaray, who was Peña Nieto’s campaign manager, allegedly told Lozoya to request USD 6 million from Odebrecht and tell the company it would be rewarded when Peña Nieto won the election. Part of that reward would presumably be the openings for private companies contained in the 2013 energy reform of the state-controlled sector.

“As part of the approval of the Pact for Mexico reforms, Enrique Peña Nieto and Luis Videgaray Caso told me in February 2013 that large quantities of money would have to be paid to the opposition so that they would vote in favor of certain structural reforms of interest for President Enrique Pena Nieto,” Lozoya wrote. The cash was to be distributed in transparent plastic bags, so the politicians could see the bills, and in fact, a video leaked earlier this week appeared to show one such transaction.

Lozoya's witnesses

It later emerged that Emilio Lozoya's witnesses include a general and two people who have passed away. 

According to Lozoya, General Roberto Miranda was present during a 2012 meeting between Enrique Peña Nieto and Marcelo Odebrecht in Brazil. 

The other witnesses are Fabiola Tapia and José Velazco; however, they died in 2014 and 2013. 

Nevertheless, Lozoya will call other witnesses to testify in his case, including his former aide Rodrigo Arteaga Santoyo; former Pemex official Francisco Olascoaga, and his former bodyguard Norberto Gallardo.

Furthermore, Lozoya said there are videos and invoices to support his claims. 

Enrique Peña Nieto & Luis Videgaray

Lozoya said Peña Nieto and Videgaray personally questioned him about a deal to buy an outdated fertilizer plant at an excessive price from one private company, asking him in a meeting at the president’s office in 2013 “why is it taking so long.”

He said the two were particularly interested in the deal and that Videgaray rushed through a review of the deal and told him not to worry about the price being paid, which ended up being several times the plant’s real value. Lozoya said he was “surprised” by their level of interest in the deal, and said Peña Nieto and Videgaray negotiated the purchase with the plant’s owner.

“It was evident that Luis Videgaray Caso had a personal interest in getting the deal done, either because he would obtain some possible illicit benefit, or to pay off favors from the past.”

It was an apparent attempt by Lozoya to shift the blame from himself.

According to charges filed against Lozoya earlier this year, the Mexican firm, Altos Hornos de Mexico, sold the overpriced old fertilizer plant to Pemex after allegedly paying Lozoya around USD 3.4 million in bribes 2012. According to prosecutors, the money went through accounts controlled by Lozoya and his sister, and they used most of it to buy a house in an upscale neighborhood in the capital.

In the testimony, Lozoya claimed he was “intimidated” into signing off on the purchase of the fertilizer plant, known as Agronitrogenados, by the president and Videgaray.

Recommended: Emilio Lozoya left hospital, wears ankle monitor

“Luis Videgaray Caso took over leadership of the decisions regarding the purchase of Agronitrogenados, arguing, and I quote ‘This is the president’s business, you just do what you are told. I speak for him.’”

Lozoya even suggested the bribery and kickback scheme was meant to finance future campaigns by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which governed Mexico for 70 years in the 20th century and returned to power in 2012 after a 12-year absence.

“Sometimes they (businessmen) had to give money back after the deals to benefit future PRI electoral campaigns, or for the personal benefit of Enrique Peña Nieto and Luis Videgaray Caso,” according to the document.

According to Lozoya, Peña Nieto asked construction company, Grupo Higa, to build a home in the State on Mexico, the home would have a museum dedicated to Peña Nieto himself. 

The construction finished in 2015. Peña Nieto allegedly planned to exhibit gifts, awards, and other personal objects.

Peña Nieto also instructed Lozoya to hire a professional photographer who would attend Pemex events to take pictures of Peña Nieto. 

After the document went viral, Luis Videgaray took to Twitter to release a statement:

Carlos Salinas de Gortari

Lozoya claims former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari also participated, allegedly acting on behalf of National Action, known as the PAN, though the ex-president was a member of Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party. Lozoya wrote that “the attitude of the PAN members in obtaining resources (money) was brutal,” and that the party’s members received about USD 4 million in bribes from one company.

Salinas the Gortari and Peña Nieto allegedly forced Lozoya to award contracts to Salinas’ son.

Also, Carlos Salinas allegedly met with Lozoya Thalmann, Emilio Lozoya's father, so that he would help the company Tradeco to obtain a Pemex contract. 

José Antonio González Anaya took over Pemex when Lozoya left. González Anaya, who has family ties to Carlos Salinas, warned Lozoya not to turn his back on Salinas.

Felipe Calderón

In his lawsuit, Lozoya Austin also mentions ex-president Felipe Calderón. The former Pemex chief claims Calderón received bribes in connection with Etileno XXI.

Felipe Calderón denied the accusations and said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is using Lozoya. 

Recommended: Former Pemex chief Emilio Lozoya pleads not guilty

José Antonio Meade

Lozoya named at least a dozen leading opposition figures as participating in bribes, including the 2018 PRI’s presidential candidate José Antonio Meade, who had enjoyed a friendly relationship with López Obrador. Lozoya said about USD 300,000 was given to Meade and other politicians.

Meade wrote in his Twitter account Wednesday: “I will not contribute to media scandals. (…) I have devoted my public life to building a better country, always with absolute honor and legality.”

Ricardo Anaya

Former presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya said Lozoya's claims were absurd and a lie. 

Other PAN members mentioned by Lozoya are Ernesto Cordero, Ricardo Anaya, Domínguez Servién, Lavalle Maury, Vega Casillas, and García Cabeza de Vaca.

This morning, Anaya filed a lawsuit against Lozoya. The PAN member accuses Lozoya Austin of defamation. 

Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca

The opposition politicians mentioned by Lozoya include a half dozen former senators, among them the current governor of the border state of Tamaulipas, Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca. Lozoya also accused then-congressman Ricardo Anaya, who went on to become the 2018 presidential candidate for the conservative National Action Party, and other leading National Action figures.

Javier Duarte

In his explosive lawsuit, Lozoya argues former Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte gifted Peña Nieto with a Ferrari.

Miguel Barbosa

As part of the negotiations to approve a series of structural reforms, Lozoya Austin argues Miguel Barbosa agreed to launch a campaign inside the PRD to approve the reforms in exchange for a personal favor. 

The PAN reacts

There has been wide speculation the case would tar opponents of current President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has termed the case a “historic” step in his fight against corruption.

National Action responded in a statement Wednesday that “Emilio Lozoya is a strategic ally of the president to denigrate the PAN because it is an alternative to the failure” of López Obrador’s policies.

“Regarding the leaked testimony, we repeat our stance: If there is compelling evidence, we will take compelling action,” the party stated, a reference to previous promises to expel any member caught in acts of corruption.

President López Obrador addresses the controversy

During his daily news conference, President López Obrador said he had been reding Lozoya's leaked document but said he couldn't finish reading it because he didn't want to have nightmares. 

The Mexican President described the document as "scandalous" and "very serious."

López Obrador also said the Attorney General's Office should call all those mentioned in the document to testify. 

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