Mexico investigates former officials involved in the purchase of Fertinal

Yesterday, EL UNIVERSAL revealed Peña Nieto is being investigated for bribery

Mexico investigates former officials involved in the purchase of Fertinal
Pedro Joaquín Coldwell and Emilio Lozoya - Photo: Tomas Bravo/REUTERS
English 19/06/2019 13:41 Newsroom Mexico City Pedro Vlla y Caña, Noé Cruz Serrano Actualizada 13:50
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Mexico's Attorney General (FGR) is currently investigating Pemex's Administrative Council after it approved the acquisition of Fertinal for USD $635 million during the Peña Nieto administration.

Besides Emilio Lozoya, the former Energy Minister, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell is being investigated for approving the operation.

Information obtained by EL UNIVERSAL indicates that after Martha Edith Rodríguez Acosta, Pemex's legal representative, filed a lawsuit on March 5, authorities are investigating all the officials who were present during a meeting on October 2015, in relation to the purchase of Fertinal.

During the meeting, the Administrative Council approved the acquisition of Fertinal for USD $635 million.

Despite knowing that Fertinal was bankrupt, in debt, and its fertilizer plant was obsolete, other high-ranking officials approved the acquisition, including Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, the former Energy Minister; Miguel Messmacher Linartas, the former Undersecretary of Revenue from the Finance Ministry; María de Lourdes Melgar Palacios, the former Undersecretary of Hydrocarbons; José Rogelio Garza Garza, the former Economy Ministry's Undersecretary for Industry and Commerce and Cuauhtémoc Ochoa Fernández, the former Environment Ministry's Undersecretary for Environmental Promotion and Normativity.

Emilio Lozoya, Fernando Zendejas Reyes, and Miguel Ángel Flores Ramírez represented Pemex during the meeting.

Édgar Torres Galindo, the former director of Pemex Fertilizers was also present, who was banned from public service for 15 years on May 2018 and fined with USD $620 million for the acquisition of the Fertinal plant.

Independent counselors were also present at the meeting, including Jaime Lomelín Guillén, Jorge José Borja Navarrete, Octavio Francisco Pastrana Pastrana, and Alberto Tiburcio Celorio.

Carlos Elizondo Mayer-Serra was the only one who voted against the purchase of Fertinal.

Today, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell issued a statement claiming that the decisions made “by the former council members were made after Pemex presented evaluations and expert opinions, carried out by international firms established in the country, who certified the value of the assets, and the viability and convenience of the purchase of this company (Fertinal).”

Coldwell also condemned the fact that the information in regards to the Fertinal case was made public because “it violates the constitutional principle of presumption of innocence when unproven allegations are considered as true or when certain events are distorted.”

On June 2, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell asked the Attorney General to summon him to testify in regards to the purchase of Fertinal and to inform him which cases is he linked to.

That same day, the former Economy Minister, Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, said he was willing to cooperate with authorities to explain the role the Ministry had in the purchase of Fertinal.


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