Mexican government blacklists former Pemex executive director

According to sources, Emilio Lozoya was barred from holding public office for 10 years

Mexican government blacklists former Pemex executive director
Emilio Lozoya, former Pemex eecutive direcor – Photo: Bernardo Montoya/REUTERS
English 23/05/2019 13:03 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Reuters Actualizada 13:13
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The Mexican government has punished the former executive director of state oil firm Pemex for the misuse of public funds in the purchase of fertilizer business Fertinal, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

On Wednesday, the Public Administration Ministry announced that it had sanctioned two senior executives at Pemex, from the previous administration, without naming the executives.
According to insiders, one of the sanctioned executives is former executive director Emilio Lozoya.


Lozoya was barred from holding public office for 10 years but was not fined, two of the people said.

Javier Coello, Lozoya’s lawyer, told newspaper El Financiero that Lozoya had been notified of the punishment on Wednesday.

“The issue was that he did not declare that his mother opened an investment account,” Coello told the newspaper.

The Public Administration Ministry said one of the two former executives was fined for MXN $620 million and barred from holding public office for 15 years.

That sum was equivalent to the extra cost Pemex incurred in the purchase of Fertinal, the ministry added.

Pemex said the operation to acquire Fertinal, which was completed in 2016, cost the company USD $255 million and that it expected to recover the investment in less than three years.

The Fertinal purchase was criticized by industry experts who questioned the value of the deal for the Mexican taxpayers.

But who is Emilio Lozoya?

Emilio Lozoya Austin was very close to former President Enrique Peña Nieto. Peña Nieto appointed Lozoya as Pemex's executive director on December 4, 2012, and until February 8, 2016, when he was replaced by José Antonio González Anaya.

Emilio Lozoya has been linked to the Odebrecht case, as he allegedly received a USD $10.5 million bribe from the Brazilian company that was used for Peña Nieto's presidential campaign in 2012. For this, there are two ongoing investigations against him at the Attorney General's Office and the FEPADE.

In April 2016, Lozoya was linked to another scandal, the Panama Papers. He was linked to a Panamanian law firm called Mossack Fonseca. Lozano allegedly reached out to the law firm in order to create an offshore company in Dubai.

Previously, in 2015, he was involved in a corruption case linked to OHL, a construction company where he worked at before being appointed as Pemex's executive director.

According to leaked phone calls, Lozoya met with Juan Miguel Villar Mir, the OHL director, to discuss the participation of OHL in Pemex's tenders.

After leaving Pemex, Lozoya founded and directs Makech Capital, an investment funds company, and hired Edgar Torres Garrido, the friend he appointed as the director of Pemex Fertilizers. Now, Edgar Torres has been banned from holding public office for 15 years and was fined MXN $620 million for diverting resources at the state-owned oil company.

For years, Emilio Lozoya has denied the accusations and claimed his innocence.

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