AFAC Officials Denounce Organization’s Internal Corruption
By KELIN DILLON
Following an investigative report conducted by Mexican daily newspaper El Financiero, dozens of high and mid-level officials from Mexico’s Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) revealed to the outlet that the aeronautics organization has been fraught with corruption, illegal wiretapping and impunity issues throughout recent years, problems that have come to a head as the AFAC attempts (and failing) to earn its desired reranking of Mexican Airspace by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Across El Financiero’s nine-month probe, officials repeatedly raised concerns about the AFAC’s corruption and the complacency shown by the organization’s director at the time, retired General Carlos Rodríguez Munguía.
The corruption extends so deep that when a high-ranking official, Marco Toro Moreno, was caught stealing the answer key for pilots in-training in order to help cheat them through the Civil Aviation Training Center’s (CIAAC) final exam, he directly blamed his superior at the time, CIAAC Director Benjamín Romero, for the controversy, with El Financiero revealing that AFAC officials directly collaborated in the fabrication of evidence to add credibility to the director’s blame.
Upon further examination, Toro Moreno’s own claims were refuted by the fact that Romero was not director at the time of the theft in February 2021, as the former general took the position in June before later being forced out of the role in early October. Toro Moreno previously purported that he stole the exam’s answers in June or July, though El Financiero’s investigation revealed this to be untrue.
Romero’s departure was similarly prompted by a series of illegally obtained recordings that resulted in the removal of several other AFAC officials. When the situation was revealed to Rodríguez Munguía, he simply chose to ignore it, similarly disregarding Romero’s own complaints made when he still headed the CIAAC.
“It was a direct recording made on site. That action they committed was grotesque, and illegal,” said one of the high-ranking anonymous sources.
The anonymous officials went on to accuse the AFAC’s complacency in handling corruption scandals as a result of the influence of former Mexica Undersecretary of Transportation Carlos Morán Moguel, with the new CIAAC director, Martha León, and head of the FAA re-ranking project, Leonardo Martínez, both having served as Morán’s protégés at one time.
“These officials had the consent of Undersecretary Morán, otherwise it cannot be explained that they did nothing with the corruption allegations. Decisions at AFAC are not made by the management, but by the undersecretary of transportation,” revealed one of El Financiero’s sources.
As the CIAAC begins to prepare its new exam for pilots following its cheating controversy, disgraced yet still-employed officials like Toro Moreno retain influence within the organization, leading to concerns about the ethical outcome of the new exam’s results.