Pemex’s Board of Directors didn’t oppose the purchase of Agronitrogenados

The Superior Audit Office filed a lawsuit before the Attorney General’s Office in 2019

Pemex’s Board of Directors didn’t oppose the purchase of Agronitrogenados
Emilio Lozoya faces money-laundering charges in connection with the purchase of Agronitrogenados - Photo: Juan Pablo Zamora/CUARTOSCURO.COM
English 09/08/2020 12:08 Diana Lastiri Mexico City Actualizada 12:13
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During the meeting where former Pemex chief Emilio Lozoya Austin first proposed the purchase of fertilizer plant Agronitrogenados, none of the members of the Board of Directors opposed the operation.

According to legal documents, during the meeting held on December 17, 2013, Lozoya Austin informed the Board of Directors, advisers, and union leaders that the fertilizer plant would require further investment for its rehabilitation, that the Pemex department in charge of this type of operations wouldn’t purchase it, and that Altos Hornos de México would drop all its lawsuits against Pemex.

Former Energy Minister Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Enrique Ochoa Reza, Leonardo Fabio Beltrán Rodríguez, and Miguel Messmacher, José Rogelio Garza, José Fortunato Álvarez Enríquez, Héctor Moreira Rodríguez, Jorge Borja Navarrete, and Fluvio César Ruiz Alarcón, were all present at the meeting.

None of them commented on Lozoya’s plan or questioned the operation.

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Days ago, Enrique Ochoa Reza told EL UNIVERSAL that the Board of Directors didn’t vote to approve the operation between AHMSA and Pemex and that they were merely informed about the transaction. Ochoa Reza added that on December 17, 2013, Lozoya Austin didn’t mention the possible financial losses the purchase would cause. 

During the meeting, Emilio Lozoya argued the purchase of the fertilizer plant was a priority for the federal government and that it would be a good deal for Pemex. He thanked Joaquín Coldwell and Ochoa Reza for their help to conceptualize the purchase. 

On August 5, EL UNIVERSAL revealed that the Superior Audit Office (ASF) filed a lawsuit before the Attorney General’s Office (FGR), where it mentions the Board of Directors as those responsible for the irregular operation to purchase Agronitrogenados.

The ASF indicates the Board of Directors knew Grupo PMI would acquire the fertilizer plant, not Pemex Petroquímica, even when the latter has the faculties to carry out this type of operation. Nevertheless, Lozoya argued that the government urgently needed to produce fertilizers.

In the lawsuit, the ASF argues that “The members of the Board of Directors at Pemex knew about the improper acts (…) and didn’t make a statement regarding this, which was part of their faculties.”

According to official documents, Emilio Lozoya said Grupo PMI authorized USD 475; however, USD 275 would be used to purchase the fertilizer plant, and USD 200 would be used to modernize and rehabilitate the plant. 

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During the meeting, Pemex’s legal representative Edgar Torres Garrido said the Agronitrogenados purchase would be an opportunity to end a legal battle between Pemex and AHMSA: “Pemex would have the possibility to solve a legal problem it has with the owners of the plant because, to carry out the operation, the condition was for them to drop their lawsuits against Pemex.”

Marco Antonio de la Peña, Pemex’s legal director, added that AHMSA had filed a lawsuit against the oil company for MXN 12,600 million.

Ochoa Reza told EL UNIVERSAL authorities haven’t notified him regarding any crime and that the ASF didn’t call him to inform him about audits. He said he didn’t have access to the lawsuit filed by the ASF on September 27, 2019.

According to the Superior Audit Office, the purchase of Agronitrogenados resulted in a financial loss that amounts to USD 93.2 million. It explained that 60% of the assets were useless. In the end, Pemex lost MXN 182.4 million.

On August 6, EL UNIVERSAL revealed that the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) is currently investigating Pemex’s former Board of Directors.

Insiders said the FGR received a lawsuit from the Superior Audit Office (ASF) on September 27, 2019, where Emilio Lozoya is not the only official mentioned. 


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