By KELIN DILLON
On Wednesday, Sept. 28, it came to light that three officials from Mexico’s state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) were reported to the Secretariat of Public Administration (SFP) and Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) for allegedly accepting bribes in exchange for valuable contracts, favoring certain suppliers over others, and putting the overall quality of Mexican gasoline in jeopardy.
The officials in question are head of Development and Relations with Suppliers and Contractors Leda Coral Castro, Deputy Director of Supply Javier Núñez López and manager of Alliances, Strategic Supply and Pemex Technical Standards Saúl Morales Alvarado, all of whose discrepancies came to a head on Friday, Sept. 23, when complaints of improper conduct against them were lodged with the SFP and FGR by a joint group of Pemex suppliers.
The filers specifically point to “Referential Agreement (ACREF) Doc 350686283″ – which stipulates contracts surrounding the supply of chemicals necessary to refine Mexican crude oil at the under-construction Dos Bocas refinery – as the basis of the complaint, likewise naming providers Petromaya, Moguel Fluids, JBC Industrial Supplies, Engineering and Services of Salamanca and the Supplier of Services and Materials EOS consortium as parties involved in the officials’ conduct.
“Directing these contracts to probable suppliers that do not have the technical capacity to provide the required services will only cause the quality of the hydrocarbon to be exported and sent for refining to be put at risk, and said risk would translate into a great irreversible loss of assets,” read the complaint.
The filed complaint comes with alleged evidence and audio recordings of Coral Castro conversing with the aforementioned suppliers and offering them contracts in exchange for monetary bribes, with a request to investigate each of the officials and their families’ bank information and assets.
Now, the three Pemex officials may face charges of embezzlement, bribery, diversion of public resources and abuse of functions, pending further investigation into the complaint.