Former Mexican President Named in Vote Buying Probe

Enrique Pena Nieto

A former Mexican president and one of his cabinet members were named in a large-scale corruption investigation involving the Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht, plus alleged bribes to buy votes and fund political campaigns.

Former President Enrique Pena Nieto (2012-2018) and his former Tax Secretary Luis Videgaray allegedly ordered the disbursement of $100 million pesos ($4.5 million USD) to foreign electoral advisors who worked in the 2012 presidential election, said Mexico’s Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero in a video message.

Gertz Manero said Pena Nieto and Videgaray also allegedly ordered the dissemination of $120 million pesos ($5.3 million USD) for vote buying in 2013 and 2014. The allegations are filed as part of an investigation that also implicated five senators and a congressman, the official said.

The information about the alleged bribery and other corrupt activities comes from the statements presented by Emilio Lozoya, the former head of Mexico’s state-owned oil company (PEMEX). Lozoya is currently facing bribery charges and is in modified home detention pending trial.

In recent days, Lozoya cooperated with authorities and presented his statements before Mexican prosecutors. In addition to the two allegations against Pena Nieto and Videgaray, Lozoya also mentioned other bribes including one for $200 million pesos ($8.9 million USD) that were allegedly used to fund an electoral reform in Mexico.

According to Getz Manero, the allegations have been turned over to his staff who will begin the case and track down evidence.

During the highly publicized trial of Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, witnesses pointed to multi-million dollar bribes paid to Pena Nieto and his top security chiefs in exchange for protection. Since leaving office, Pena Nieto has not been active in Mexico’s political scene. Videgaray is a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.     

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