Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador used his daily press conference on Tuesday to show a video of two men shoving bundles of plastic-wrapped bills into a canvas bag, an incident that the president said was receiving very little. Attention. Since taking office, López Obrador has made it a priority to eradicate corruption in the country’s government.
The video comes from an unknown source and lacks context. But local media outlets identified the two men in the recording as former Senate employees of the conservative National Action Party.
The recording has been circulating on the internet since Monday and has already caused the dismissal of one of the men who appear in it.
“It’s quite strong,” López Obrador commented on the video and complained that local television stations had minimized it. “It shows the filth of the corruption regime.”
The governor of the state of Querétaro, Francisco Domínguez, tweeted on Monday that after seeing the video, he had immediately fired his private secretary Guillermo Gutiérrez Badillo, who appears in the recording. Domínguez said he was unaware of his collaborator’s actions and asked him to cooperate with federal investigators. López Obrador was scheduled to travel to Querétaro and meet with Domínguez on Wednesday.
At the moment, Gutiérrez could not be contacted through social networks or through his office.
It was unclear when or where that video was shot, who made it, or what the money was for. A third person can be heard only as a distorted voice.
While presenting the video, López Obrador mentioned the investigation into the former director of the state oil company, Emilio Lozoya.
The former director of Pemex is cooperating with the Attorney General’s Office and has filed his own complaint alleging that former President Enrique Peña Nieto and his Secretary of the Treasury, Luis Videgaray, instructed him to distribute millions of dollars in bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
Last week, Attorney General Alejando Gertz Manero said Lozoya had said he was instructed to give bribes to six federal lawmakers, including five senators, to ensure they vote in favor of controversial energy reforms in 2013 and 2014.
Gertz also noted that Lozoya included a video with his complaint and López Obrador said that it should be shared with the public along with the former director’s full statement.
However, the president said he did not know if the new video was the one that Lozoya shared with the investigators and an official of the Attorney General’s Office, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing case, said that it had not been presented to the authorities because it serves as evidence of Lozoya’s accusations.
Lozoya was extradited from Spain in July after reaching an agreement with Mexico to cooperate with investigations into Pemex’s purchase of a dilapidated fertilizer plant at an inflated price and the bribes allegedly paid by Odebrecht employees. He was arrested in southern Spain in February after months on the run.
Once back in Mexico, Lozoya told prosecutors that Peña Nieto and Videgaray ordered him to pay foreign campaign consultants about $ 4 million from Odebrecht’s bribes for Peña Nieto’s 2012 election campaign. His Institutional Revolutionary Party returned to the presidency that year after 12 years of government of the National Action Party. Peña Nieto and Videgaray have not commented on the allegations since Gertz announced them last week.