Friends of AMLO’s Son Allegedly Awarded Government Contracts
By MARK LORENZANA
A group of companies, whose owners or partners have been identified as friends or acquaintances of Andrés López Beltrán, son of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), have allegedly obtained federal government contracts for more than 100 million pesos, according to Mexican journalist Carlos Loret de Mola in a Wednesday, May 3, article for daily newspaper El Universal.
The government contracts allegedly awarded to the friends of López Beltrán were initially revealed on Tuesday, May 2, by Loret de Mola through his program for news portal Latinus, where the journalist showed documents and photographs of the contracts as proof.
One of the biggest contracts is for the so-called Lake Texcoco Ecological Park, which is being built on the land where the Mexico City New International Airport (NAIM) was to be constructed before it was canceled by López Obrador at the beginning of his term.
Latinus documented that in April 2022, a contract for 10 million pesos for the Lake Texcoco Ecological Park was awarded to Organismo Promotor Logístico, headed by Carlos Buentello Carbonell, whose attorney is Eduardo Castro Ávila, half-brother of Alejandro Castro Jiménez Labora, a friend of López Beltrán.
In the tender, according to Loret de Mola’s report, there were three companies competing for the bid: AZ Project Management, VEA Arquitectos and the eventual winner, Organismo Promotor. All three companies, however — as well as four different sub-companies — all share the same address in Mexico City.
“Like anyone, Andy — that’s what they call him — has lifelong friends, with whom he goes to parties, vacations, organizes meals, takes photos, and shares hobbies. The difference is that Andy’s friends have become privileged government contractors for his father, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador: to begin with, they were left with a juicy business due to the cancellation of the Texcoco airport,” wrote Loret de Mola in his El Universal article.
“That’s the stellar business of Andy’s friends. President AMLO said that he canceled the work (at the NAIM) because it was full of acts of corruption. The dismantling of what had been built at that air terminal and its replacement by the so-called Lake Texcoco Ecological Park has some clear beneficiaries: Andy’s friends.”
Opposition legislators on Wednesday called for an immediate investigation into the allegations.
Jorge Álvarez Máynez, a deputy for the Citizen’s Movement Party (MC) in the Chamber of Deputies, demanded that the president’s son be investigated “as severely” as the investigation into the so-called Real Estate Cartel, an alleged network that carried out illegal construction in Mexico City, purportedly headed by Christian Von Roehrich, head of the Mexico City deputies for the conservative National Action Party (PAN), who also previously served as mayor of Mexico City’s Benito Juárez municipality. Von Roehrich was arrested last month after trying to enter the United States; an arrest warrant was issued against him in December of 2022 for his alleged participation in a network of real estate scams.
“I am affected by the so-called Real Estate Cartel, but if you are on the side of transparency and the fight against corruption, Andrés Manuel López Beltrán should be investigated as severely,” said Álvarez Máynez. “Selective justice is not justice. So we in the Citizen’s Movement Party, we say that sure, the Real Estate Cartel be investigated, but also that the Andrés Manuel López Beltrán Cartel be investigated.”
Kenia López Rabadán, deputy coordinator of the PAN, likewise went on to criticize AMLO’s son, and even brought a photograph of López Beltrán to the podium when it was her turn to speak at the Chamber of Deputies, with the hashtag #ElCartelDeAndy scribbled below López Beltrán’s face.
“López Obrador does not accept that journalists like Loret de Mola can tell us the truth. Do you know what is the truth that AMLO sees? The ‘Andy Cartel’ — that is López Obrador ‘s problem,” said López Rabadán. “He does not want to know that there is a cartel in his own house, the Andy Cartel, because thanks to journalists today we know that López Obrador is afraid of the truth. He is afraid of transparency; he is afraid of Mexicans knowing how corrupt this government is.”
In November 2022, non-profit group Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI) revealed that Alejandro Castro Jiménez Labora, a friend of López Beltrán, was in charge of the reconstruction of the Malecón de Villahermosa — a boardwalk in López Obrador’s home state of Tabasco — which, according to Mexico’s Superior Audit of the Federation (ASF), has been flagged for alleged anomalies to the tune of 200 million pesos.
In addition, the MCCI revealed that at least 12 friends of both Andrés López Beltrán and Gonzalo López Beltrán — another son of the president — currently hold positions in the federal government.
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