PULSE NEWS MEXICO
Just two days after it was revealed that the Mexican Treasury Secretariat’s (Hacienda) Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) was investigating the financial dealings of previous President Enrique Peña Nieto on possible charges of embezzlement and/or money laundering, it was reported Saturday, July 9, that the FIU is also conducting a financial investigation into other former presidents, including Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon.
Since March 25, FIU Director Pablo Gómez Álvarez told reporters on Thursday, July 7, the FIU has been collecting information from Mexican banks about Peña Nieto, along with his siblings Ana Cecilia, Arturo and Verónica, as well as his mother, María del Perpetuo Socorro Ofelia Nieto, his ex-wife Angélica Rivera and his current partner, Tania Ruiz.
The requests for financial reports were sent to the banks as a “request for information,” Gómez Álvarez said, along with other requests to investigate former President Felipe Calderón, his wife Margarita Zavala and a four other persons related to his family.
Part of the information requested coincides with a formal request from the FIU in 2020, on the financial activities of Peña Nieto and Calderón and their relatives, based on a complaint filed by former Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Emilio Lozoya, who is currently on trial for embezzlement himself.
In the case of Peña Nieto, the initial information that emerged was related to financial transfers made by relatives of the former Mexican president to England and Ireland. That investigation, initiated by the FIU two years ago, has remained inconclusive.
On March 25, the FIU requested additional information on Peña Nieto and Calderón, as well as financial data on Zedillo, his wife, his children and brothers, as well as on Fox, his wife Marta Sahagún, their children from different marriages, the Vamos México Foundation they founded, several companies related to food marketing and Fox’s ranch in the central state of Guanajuato.
All of the former presidents, as well as the current head of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Alejandro Moreno, who it was revealed is also under IUF investigation, have adamantly denied all charges of wrongdoing, claiming that they are being persecuted by the leftist administration of current Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who has made no secret of his disdain for part administrations.
It is worth noting that every one of the abovementioned persons belong to a political party other than AMLO’s National Regeneration Movement (Morena), and has been publicly accused (without evidence) of corruption and graft by López Obrador repeatedly during his daily press conferences.
“The IUF is acting with everything but formality. These charges are totally arbitrary and completely irregular,” responded Calderón to the news of the FIU investigation.
“So why exactly does the FIU exist? It is an instrument of a persecuting regime.”
During the press conference of López Obrador on Thursday, Gómez Álvarez admitted to the investigations, but said that since there have been no criminal charges filed against Zedillo, Fox and Calderón, his office would not, for now, pursue the investigations into them as federal crimes.
However, he said that in the case of Peña Nieto, there was sufficient evidence to continue a criminal investigation, which could land Peña Nieto in prison for up to 15 years if he is found guilty.