Deschamps is allegedly accused of money laundering

Romero Deschamps has led the powerful oil workers union since 1993 and his current term is set to end in 2024

Romero Deschamps is allegedly accused of money laundering and illicit enrichment
Romero Deschamps has been a powerful figure in Mexican politics for decades - Photo: Luis Cortés/EL UNIVERSAL
English 24/07/2019 14:55 Newsroom & Agencies Mexico City Reuters Actualizada 15:07
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Prosecutors have accused the leader of the Mexican oil workers union, Carlos Romero Deschamps, of corruption, a Mexican newspaper reported on Tuesday, amid a broader push by President López Obrador to eradicate corruption.

The Finance Ministry accused Romero Deschamps and six relatives of illicit enrichment and money laundering, the paper said, citing suspect deposits and other transactions overseen by the Ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit.

Later, a source in the Financial Intelligence Unit, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the accusations to Reuters.

Romero Deschamps, a former senator, has led the powerful oil workers union since 1993 and his current term is set to end in 2024.

On Monday, local media also reported that a federal judge ordered the “definitive suspension” of any arrest warrant for Romero Deschamps. Therefore, authorities can not arrest him unless he is accused of a crime that requires preventive custody.

While the federal judge issued the “definitive suspension,” the Financial Intelligence Unit has requested the Attorney General's Office to block the union leader's bank accounts.

López Obrador’s administration has made fighting corruption a top priority, as evidenced in early efforts such as fighting against fuel theft and issuing arrest warrants for former Pemex Chief Emilio Lozoya.

According to a Mexican newspaper, those accused include Romero Deschamps’ wife Blanca Rosa, his children Paulina, Alejandro, and Juan Carlos, and Juan Carlos’ wife María Fernanda Ocejo.

The lavish lifestyle of Romero Deschamps and his family, which has included trips on private jets and the purchase of luxury sports cars, has been surrounded by accusations of corruption; nevertheless, he has always denied such allegations.

Romero Deschamps is currently leading negotiations for the 2019-2021 collective bargaining agreement with Pemex, which has a July 31 deadline.

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