By RICARDO CASTILLO
A War of Leaks
Ever since the 63-page script containing the accusations the former director of the state-run oil interest Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Emilio Lozoya Austin, made against a numerous set of former public officials, a small war of leaks has been taking place in Mexican politics.
First Lozoya directly accused former Mexican Presidents Felipe Calderón, Enrique Peña Nieto and Carlos Salinas de Gortari of sacking Pemex and leading it into near bankruptcy and a deep $107 billion debt.
Immediately, officials mentioned in the report. former deputy and National Action Party leader and presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya, sued Lozoya for accusing him of having received a 6.5 million-peso bribe from Pemex in 2014 for having supported Peña Nieto’s Energy Reform. Anaya called the accusations “slanderous.”
Then a few hours later, the web info site latinus.us produced a video that showed current Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) little brother, Pío López Obrador, receiving cash in envelopes from close AMLO advisor David León to support “the movement,” probably referring to the president’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party, which led him to the presidency.
In response on Friday, Aug. 23, National Action Party (PAN) President Marko Cortés announced that he had filed suit against Morena for receiving illegal funds. The only evidence Cortés apparently wields is the video itself.
Then on Saturday, Aug. 24, AMLO announced that corruption hound dog official Santiago Nieto Castillo was investigating the president’s brother and León, but also former PAN leader Humberto Gil Zuarth and former Labor Secretary Javier Lozano Alarcón for suspicion of “illicit enrichment.”
What’s next? Nobody knows, but expect anything as the war of leaks – in particular between the National Action and Morena political parties — rises to wuthering heights.
Incidentally, contrary to what has been published during the week, the Fiscal Federal of the Republic denied having leaked the copy of Lozano’s charges against former officials, and is currently investigating who did it.
Calderón, Zavala Fined
The National Electoral Institute (INE) is still pondering over whether to issue a political party registration to the movement Liberty and Democratic Responsibility run by former president Felipe Calderon and his wife Margarita Zavala.
But it is also keeping a close check on the party’s – also named Mexico Libre (Free Mexico) — and on Friday, Aug. 23, slapped the former presidential couple with a fine of 2.7 million pesos for accounting irregularities while integrating the party.
Calderón, who has repeatedly complained of “political persecution” by AMLO, had no comment, and, for a change, stayed mum .
The INE also slapped five other would-be political parties with fines for misreporting expenditures.
In a most unusual and unprecedented move, Mexico’s Public Function Secretariat (SFP) suspended literary magazine Nexos from receiving government official advertising after the magazine management allegedly filed “fallacious information” regarding its accounting.
The SFP also fined the magazine nearly a million pesos.
The specific ad in question came from the Social Security Institute (IMSS) during a print media campaign in 2018 promoting health services.
Since Nexos director general Hector Aguilar Camín has been a constant verbal critic of AMLO, many in the media are considering the SFP’s suspension as an attack on freedom of the press, which the SFP has denied.
The Nexos suspension will be in effect for two years, starting immediately.
Mexican Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Márquez announced that during August, hotel occupation in some of the nation’s top beach spots has been scant.
In his twitter account, Torruco said that the slump in occupancy nationwide was 42.3 points, with top beaches such as Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos averaging a 30 percent occupancy, which is actually close to what health authorities are authorizing to prevent large gatherings.
There was enthusiasm, however, among hospitality entrepreneurs, who have high hopes that the winter season – usually their best in the year – will yield a larger number of visitors from Canada, the United States and the European Union.
Back to School
Today, August 24, Mexico will enter into a new teaching experience with students learning through television from home, to avoid agglomerations of students and to prevent a new covid-19 surge.
For starters, 25.2 million students from preschool, elementary and middle school will start classes “with official validity” that will include regular testing as students are subscribed to their neighborhood schools.
Also starting classes will be 5.2 million students at the preparatory level.
Teaching will not be equal all over the nation, since in many states, they may have to mix television and live classes due to the fact that not all regions have access to public television and Internet.
There will be many improvised electronic pages, but only those students who own a computer and have Internet service will be able to linkup to the new forms of teaching.
On Sunday, Aug. 23, the Public Education Secretariat made public the education pages for different grades, along with access via WhatsApp.
…Aug. 24, 2020