By RICARDO CASTILLO
Lozoya Nabbed in Malaga
Former Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Director Emilio Lozoya Austin was finally found and arrested in Malaga, Spain, by the Spanish police.
The news was broken personally in radio interviews on Wednesday, Feb. 12, by Fiscal General Alejandro Gertz Manero.
“It was a long pilgrimage (to track down Lozoya Austin) with the arrest warrant we got from a judge and the fundamental support from Interpol,”Gertz Manero said.
“In particular, I want to acknowledge the Spanish police who did an excellent job in helping us to arrest this individual.”
Lozoya was being sought by Interpol in 190 nations.
He is now being charged in Mexico with money laundering, accepting bribery and fraud.
Lozoya’s defense lawyer, Javier Coello Trejo, said he heard of the arrest on the radio and that the news to him “was like a bucket of cold water.”
Apparently, Lozoya was arrested with his wife, who was also wanted, and will join his mother, now under house arrest, charged with criminal association with her son.
Gertz Manero said Mexican authorities will now begin the red tape of the extradition process.
Pork Barrel Squeeze
Speaking of Gertz Manero, he did not exactly state where the 2 billion-peso check he delivered to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on Monday, Feb. 10, had come from.
It was believed to have from several places, but the truth is now out.
The 2 billion pesos came from an out-of-court settlement arranged by the lawyers of construction entrepreneurs André and Max El Mann Arazi, and from Rafael and Teófilo Zaga Tawil.
The four concocted through the National Institute for Workers Housing (Infornavit) a mobility scheme through which a worker could move to larger quarters called Cambiavit.
In 2014, according to Dario Celis of El Financiero newspaper, the businessmen signed a contract with Infonavit, at a moment when the institute was without a director, and the were squeezing quite a lot from workers who operated under Cambiavit.
In 2017, under the directorship of former Senator David Penchyna, the program was cancelled, but the businessmen sued and were awarded a 5.8 billion- peso indemnity.
The deal stunk of rotten fish and the Financial Investigation Unit of the Treasury, headed by top cop Santiago Nieto, decided to investigate.
The El Mann Arazi and the Zaga Tawil brothers were sued for the financial sacking of Infonavit.
On Wednesday, Feb. 12, without mentioning the culprits, AMLO said that these company owners were not housing developers and that their business was not construction, but, through legal means, they had transformed the government into their “puerquito,” meaning little piggy bank, through a big source of pork barrel funding.
The 2 billion pesos were all that the Treasury could get returned of the stolen money in an unprecedented case of getting something back from what was taken.
Still, the two sets of brother did manage to walk away from the deal 3.8 billion pesos richer.
Rosario to Pay Loan
Former Social Development Secretary (Sedesol) Rosario Robles, in prison since last August while she undergoes a Sedesol-related trial, was declared liable for having paid 400 million pesos to her former boyfriend, Carlos Ahumada Kurtz, according to a decision by the Second Unitary Tribunal based in Mexico City.
Ahumada won the suit against Robles after she claimed he had forged her signature in order to make payments for a loan for the political Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) when she was secretary general in 2003.
Robles has now been ordered to pay up.
Lifting of Travel Bans
Guerrero Governor Héctor Astudillo Flores met in Mexico City with U.S. Ambassador Christopher Landuau to request the lifting of no-travel alerts for Americans to the resort destinations of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo, the two main tourist cities in the state.
The Ambassador did not have an immediate answer for Astudillo Flores.
No Party Yet for the Calderóns
One week ago, former Mexican President Felipe Calderón and his wife Margarita Zavala announced that the political organization México Libre (Free Mexico) had complied with all the requisites to become a political party.
National Electoral Institute (INE) President Lorenzo Córdova went public, saying that whoever is claiming that the organization has all the requisites to be approved as a political party “is lying.”
Córdova said that the INE has yet to check if México Libre has complied with assemblies and membership affiliations.
The INE will make public what political parties have the right to participate in the 2021 midterm elections on July 1.
The head of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME), Roberto Valdovinos Alba, was fired by the Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) on legally proven charges of “inadequate treatment (of Mexican migrants) and labor bullying.”
The secretariat said that during 2019 the Ethics and Conflict Prevention of the SRE received and investigated five different complaints against Valdovinos before letting him go.
Super middleweight World Boxing Association champion Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez keeps piling up votes for the most valuable boxer of 2019.
In a poll carried out by the Mexico City-based World Boxing Council, Canelo is competing for the nomination of Boxer of the Year and Best KO of the Year (against Sergei Kovalenko in the light heavyweight division).
There are other candidates as well, but for the moment, it is being suggested that Canelo, Mexico’s finest pound-by-pound boxer, is ahead of the pack.