By KELIN DILLON
Just days after the former head of Mexico’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Santiago Nieto, Castillo resigned from his position due to the scandal of his Guatemala-located nuptials, the current iteration of the FIU was asked to investigate the unit as it was run under Nieto’s leadership, said National Action Party (PAN) Senator José Erandi Bermúdez.
“The current FIU should investigate the previous FIU,” said Erandi Bermúdez. “Nieto was the ‘anti-corruption czar’ and the champion of the anti-corruption fight. Now the investigation must explain and trace the resources used for how the wedding was paid, and so on. All for a simple reason: The government salary of the current administration could not cover its cost, and the wedding did not cost three pesos.”
Erandi Bermúdez went on to say, “Nieto’s wedding sends several signals: He was afraid of getting married in Mexico for safety reasons, and he preferred to take his money to another country, when in Mexico there are many top-level tourist destinations, and those resources could be spent for a wedding in the country.”
Erandi Bermúdez and his fellow conservative PAN senators, the opponents of Nieto’s own leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), also demanded the FIU’s further investigation into the weekend’s events the Senate plenary session on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
Likewise, Erandi Bermúdez commended Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) for his insistence of Nieto’s resignation, despite little usual overlap in agreement between Morena and PAN officials.
“I agree with him for two reasons: One, Nieto organized the wedding in another country because he did not feel safe in Mexico, and that is an affront against the president himself because of the issue of security in Mexico, the ‘anti-corruption czar’ looked for a safer place for his wedding,” said Erandi Bermúdez. “And two, to the extent that Nieto made such an ostentatious wedding, it clearly shows that his anti-corruption austerity is nothing more than lip service.”
AMLO’s strict decision to cut off his own loyal official shows the president’s commitment to fighting corruption throughout Mexico, Erandi Bermúdez said.
Though controversy likewise arose over one of Nieto’s guests flying with high sums of cash to the wedding that was subsequently seized by Guatemalan authorities, Erandi Bermúdez confirmed that the guest had declared this money at customs in Toluca, absolving him of any wrongdoing.