The mayor cuts some Kings Day cake. The mayor cuts some Kings Day cake.

Cancún’s roscagate provokes an outcry

The city spent 4.5 million pesos to give away 16,000 Kings Day cakes

The celebration of Three Kings Day in Cancún turned out to be the ideal opportunity for the municipal government to commit what has been called a perfect crime.

On January 6, the administration of Mayor Remberto Estrada Barba spent close to 4.5 million pesos (over US $230,000) on Roscas de Reyes, the traditional Kings Day cake, in an untraceable operation that has unleashed an outcry from political and citizens’ organizations.

Citizens for Transparency (Citra) demanded that Estrada tell the citizens of Cancún about when, where, to whom, how many and why the 16,000 cakes were handed out.

“It’s unacceptable . . . the bidding process has to be made public. You can’t spend almost 4.5 million pesos on Roscas de Reyes. It’s unacceptable,” said Citra director Cynthia Dehesa.

For Tulio Arroyo Marroquín, director of an environmental group, the purchase of the cakes from the firm Control Operativo “is the perfect crime,” there being no way to determine whether the cakes were delivered.

“The key with this administration is to be suspicious,” continued the activist, adding that “we must fight to make them accountable, and one must spend energy and time on finding out if their announcements are true and what lies behind them.”

Estrada’s administration boasted that it was the first to implement an anti-corruption plan and promote accountability, said Carlos Montalbán Colón, state leader of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD). But, he charged, the only people who benefitted by roscagate, as it is being called, are members of the Green Ecologist Party, to which the mayor belongs.

Similarly, the Cancún leader of the National Action Party (PAN) said the king’s cake scandal was just one of many.

“We’re concerned by the level of spending, not only with the roscas, but in the rental of police patrol cars, among other issues,” said Eduardo Pacho Gallegos, who said the gift of cake was solely political.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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