Photo: Mexico Cargo News

By KELIN DILLON

After Mexico’s Attorney General of the Republic’s (FGR) acknowledgement of (and subsequent lack of follow up on) crimes committed by the country’s customs officials, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) turned the blame onto governors from the nation’s northern states for their complicity in the alleged crimes.

From 2020 until February of this year, the FGR’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) accused 47 customs officials of acts of corruption and money laundering, but never formally pressed any charges against the alleged criminals nor issued any warrants for their arrest.

A total of eight of the accused customs officials were from Veracruz, while another seven worked in Guanajuato and seven more in Michoacán.

“The Financial Intelligence Unit established a policy of zero tolerance for corruption and zero tolerance for impunity, thus reaffirming its commitment to adopt effective measures to combat money laundering and corruption,” said the UIF, though it has yet to present charges against any of the accused officials.

Now, López Obrador is placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of Mexico’s northern state governors, most of whom are from conservative opposition parties, accusing them of being complicit in the customs corruption, particularly on the topic of fuel smuggling. 

“There were many acts of complicity and corruption in the northern customs and they managed them for political influence,” said AMLO. “The governors had a hand and supported certain people.”

Notwithstanding, in July of last year, AMLO turned over the supervision of the nation’s customs service to his hand-picked National Guard army.

AMLO also seized the opportunity to promote his new hydrocarbon reform, addressing Mexico’s Senate directly by saying “approve that hydrocarbon law and we are going to completely shut down fuel smuggling.”

…April 12, 2021

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