Buddies: President Enrique Peña Nieto and ex-governor Borge Buddies: President Enrique Peña Nieto and ex-governor Borge in a file photo.

Corruption charges against QR officials

Embezzlement, other crimes alleged against officials in previous administration

Seven criminal complaints have been filed against officials in the previous administration of the state of Quintana Roo, where investigations have revealed the mismanagement of 2.4 billion pesos (US $118 million) in public funds.

The charges follow audits by the new government of Governor Carlos Joaquín of alleged abuses by that of his predecessor, Roberto Borge.

Government officials told a press conference that the principal accusations concern leases of construction machinery worth 700 million pesos and the questionable diversion of funds in connection with Playa del Carmen’s water and sewer system. In the case of the former there is no evidence that the companies involve actually exist or that any work was done.

The complaints were filed for several crimes committed within four government secretariats and agencies and include embezzlement, irregular performance of public duties and abuse of authority, said Government Secretary Francisco López Mena.

Altogether, the crimes represent the mismanagement of close to 2.4 billion pesos, he said.

He charged that during Borge’s administration corruption was not only widespread but organized.

Public monies were also diverted by a group within the administration “to keep themselves in power.”

The Secretary of Public Administration explained the complaints filed were against former officials in the Secretariats of Finance and Planning, Infrastructure and Transportation, and Urban Development and Housing, along with officials from the Water and Sewer Commission.

While Rafael del Pozo acknowledged that the people in charge of those government bodies — along with lower ranking officials — were responsible for the crimes, another politician was to blame.

“Of course Roberto Borge holds much of the responsibility. He is largely responsible for the administrative disorder and the deplorable way in which state coffers were depleted.”

The governor predicted that as the investigations run their due course “some 14 additional complaints will be filed.”

Source: Noticaribe (sp), Milenio (sp)

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