By KELIN DILLON
On the heels of the controversial irregularities found and publicly released by Mexico’s Superior Audit Office of the Federation (ASF) in a report surrounding the construction of the country’s megaprojects, a new source of contention has arisen from ASF findings: Federal Attorney General (FGR) Alejandro Gertz Manero and close collaborator of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), allegedly lied about a 2 billion-peso check helping to fund the prizes of 2020s presidential plane raffle, while, in reality, Gertz later returned the funds to the FGR.
Gertz originally presented the check on Feb. 10 of last year during one of AMLO’s daily morning press conferences, claiming the money was “recovered” after a complaint from the executive’s legal department. López Obrador then took the moment to publicly announce that the funds would be used to finance Sept. 15 raffle’s prize money.
However, upon its review of Mexico’s 2020 expenditure, the ASF found this same 2.1 billion-peso check to have been returned to the FGR’s coffers by the Institute to Return the Stolen to the People (Indep) on April 31, 2021, just more than a year since Gertz’ appearance with the check at AMLO’s conference.
According to the ASF, the money was in the custody of the Indep until April 2021, or until the time of its turnover to the FGR and Institute of the National Housing Fund for Workers (Infonavit), while the funds for the raffle were apparently put up by other assets, “2,262 from seizures and 17 from domain extinctions,” the Indep already had in its custody.