By RICARDO CASTILLO
Peña Nieto Not Under Investigation
What? Fake news in the Wall Street Journal? You bet ya!
This past week, the WSJ published a news item claiming that Mexican Fiscal General Alejandro Gertz Manero had evidence that corruption in the Pemex-related Emilio Lozoya Austin case reached to the highest level, inferring that former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was also under investigation.
The problem with this WSJ version of the investigation is that the source allegedly stating that Peña Nieto was in on the bribery scam is unidentified. And, in fact, may not exist at all.
Naturally, all the Mexican media immediately picked up the news item and also said that Peña Nieto was under investigation.
In immediate response, the director of the Treasury Financial Investigations Unit, Santiago Nieto, denied that Peña Nieto was or is under investigation. In Mexico, you can only get a more official response than this only if the president himself intervenes.
Guess what? President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) also denied the alleged WSJ investigation in two separate statements last week.
First, AMLO said: “We are not going to carry out any denouncement against former presidents because we want to look forward, not backwards,” adding that he refused to do so due to the fact that filing charges – of whatever nature – would only create a major scandal and distract from his main objective, which is to eradicate corruption from the government.
In a second statement, AMLO said, “if in the investigation on the former Pemex director there appears that former President Peña Nieto was involved, then it is up to the Fiscal General to resolve the issue.”
He also said: “I ask the media to consider with (constitutional) specialists if it is feasible to put former leaders on trial, so that there will be no more speculation on the issue.”
Pemex Increases Oil Output
If there is one thing Peña Nieto can be found guilty of, it is lying to the Mexican people.
Just one year before finishing his six-year term in office, he announced that oil production at Pemex had dried up.
“The chicken with the golden eggs is dead,” he said. (He should have said “goose,” as the saying goes, but he said “chicken.”)
The fact is that the volume of Mexican oil production during January, according to data published on Friday, Feb. 21, by the National Hydrocarbons Committee (CNH), increased to 1.724 million barrels per day, piling up a four-consecutive month production streak.
The CNH also forecast that by the end of 2020, Pemex will be producing 1.951 bpd.
New Political Parties
National Electoral Institute (INE) President Lorenzo Córdova confirmed that “preliminary results” show that six political organizations that applied to become subsidized political parties complied with the requisites demanded by the INE.
The viable organizations are the Progressive Social Networks, Solidarity Encounter, the Social Group to Promote Mexico, the Social Force for Mexico, Democratic Liberty and the Responsibility and Alternative Foundation.
Córdova warned, however, that “legally speaking, no organization can state that it has yet achieved the right of registration as a political party nor that the INE has already pronounced them so.”
The official announcement will be made on July 1 of this year.
Human Rights Platform
Martha Delgado, the Foreign Relations Secretariat’s undersecretary for multilateral affairs and human rights, announced the establishment of a new electronic system to followup on international recommendations on human rights issues.
The new platform, Delgado said, will generate public awareness, preserving the historic memory of implemented actions to look after recommendations.
“For the first time in Mexico,” she said, “we have a tool that will permit us to identify who will benefit from attention to human rights, allowing us to advance and achieve individual goals within the 2030 agenda.”
Mexico is party to 57 different international treaties and protocols.
From Words to Deeds
Mexican Federal Security Secretary Alfonso Durazo and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau agreed on Thursday, Feb. 20, at a dual gathering, to move “from words to deeds” regarding curbing different types of illegal trafficking at the border.
Landau admitted that, “for decades these meetings have been carried out and, the truth is that the fight against gun-running has not shown positive results.”
Landau also said: “What is important is to have results and not just words. This can’t go on this way for either of our countries. We as societies cannot accept what is happening.”
No sooner had the conference concluded than Durazo announced the extradition to the United States of Rubén Oceguera González, nicknamed El Menchito, who had been under arrest in Mexico since 2015, but had managed to avoid extradition.
El Menchito is the son of the leader of the savagely brutal New Generation Jalisco Cartel, known as El Mencho.
He’s charged with drugs and weapons trafficking.