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Sandoval on his Nayarit ranch. Sandoval on his Nayarit ranch.

Another governor, another investigation

YouTube video is main piece of evidence in criminal complaint against Nayarit's Sandoval

Yet another state governor is under investigation for corruption after the lodging of a criminal complaint using a YouTube video as the primary piece of evidence.

The federal Attorney General (PGR) has opened a file on Nayarit Governor Roberto Sandoval Castañeda to investigate him for illicit enrichment.

Federal sources confirmed with the newspaper El Universal that the SEIDF — a division of the PGR that investigates federal crimes — had assumed jurisdiction over the case on June 2.

Sandoval has been in power since 2011, representing the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), but gubernatorial elections were held last month and his term will soon end.

The investigation stems from a criminal complaint filed in April by a group of politicians led by federal Deputy Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo and Leopoldo Domínguez, the mayor of the state capital Tepic.

They claim that when Sandoval assumed the governorship he declared that he was the owner of just one home in Guadalajara that he bought with a 2-million-peso loan, but early in his tern he flaunted his ownership of a large ranch in the coastal municipality of San Blas, likely to have come with a hefty price tag.

The complaint is based on stories in the media and videos posted to YouTube in which the state leader shows off the property, including one where he gives a tour to a group of reporters and boasts about the horse breeding stables he owns with well known Mexican singers.

“On the other side we have prairies where Joan Sebastian, El Cheque Peña and yours truly have breeding stables for Aztec and Spanish mares that don’t cost us a single centavo. The water and nature of Nayarit give us the pasture for free. If you asked how much does it cost to maintain 100 mares, it’s really expensive but here in our lands of Nayarit you can feed yourself for free.”

While Sandoval parades for the cameras on one of his horses in the 2012 video, they also film dozens of horses, stables, a house and an artificial lake spread over the 17-hectare property.

Sandoval tells the media present that he and his family had bought the property five years before, contradicting the declaration that he only owned one home when he was sworn in.

“My family and I bought this land more than five years ago . . . I came to sow this land and if everything looks beautiful to you now it’s because we’ve worked this land for many years.”

In a separate PGR investigation, the governor is also being probed for electoral fraud.

A criminal complaint lodged by the opposition Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and National Action Party (PAN) alleges that he ordered party subordinates to deliver government social programs subject to the proviso that people vote for the PRI. If it was detected that beneficiaries of the programs were not going to vote for the party, their voter IDs were to be taken away.

Voters in the state rejected the PRI at the June 4 election, installing PAN-PRD alliance candidate Antonio Echevarría García as governor.

Sandoval was pressed to step down earlier in the year after his Attorney General, Édgar Veytia, was taken into custody on drug charges in San Diego, California. He remains in the United States awaiting trial.

Sandoval is the latest in a long list of state governors to be accused of corruption, including Javier Duarte of Veracruz, Roberto Borge of Quintana Roo and César Duarte of Chihuahua.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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