By KELIN DILLON
Just days after former Mexican presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya released an interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) detailing his perceived persecution by current Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), Mexico’s Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) once again has prepared to launch a warrant for Anaya’s arrest on Monday, Nov. 8.
After multiple attempts to lure Anaya out of hiding, the FGR now looks to indict the conservative National Action Party (PAN) member on charges of allegedly receiving $6.8 million in bribes from and taking part in the controversial Odebrecht corruption case, which former Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Director Emilio Ricardo Lozoya now stands on trial for.
The FGR has accused Anaya of receiving the funds to help push through former President Enrique Peña Nieto’s energy reform some eight-plus months after the proposal’s passage and five months after Anaya left Mexico’s Congress, an alleged timeline that Anaya told the WSJ “would have been the stupidest bribery in history.”
“López Obrador is authoritarian, he is vindictive and he wants to destroy me,” Anaya went on to tell the WSJ about the accusations against him.
AMLO took to his daily morning conference that very same Monday to respond to Anaya’s claims, continuing to accuse the PAN official of corruption even though he is yet to be formally charged, much less found guilty.
“He should face things head-on and clarify what his relationship with Peña was, what issues were discussed, and what was his role when the so-called structural reforms were approved,” said López Obrador. “I did not give instructions that he be punished or investigated. I did not act like that; revenge is not my strong suit.”
Anaya was due in court after a judge denied his request for a 40-day postponement, and was warned of his need to show up in person at the subsequent court date on Jan- 31, 2022, or the FGR will likely be granted Anaya’s preventative jailing due to his purported flight risk.
Anaya could potentially face up to 30 years in prison if found guilty of the charges presented against him.