Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Ex-governor of Nayarit, barred from US, denies knowing any narcos

The former governor of Nayarit, Roberto Sandoval, expressed his surprise over being barred entry into the United States and claimed not to be connected to any drug traffickers or other criminals in an interview with the news outlet Milenio.

The United States government denied Sandoval and his immediate family members visas to enter the country in February due to his “significant involvement in corruption” during his time as governor.

“For me it was a surprise that the U.S. Secretary of State made that announcement when I have been in communication with the government, [and] we’ve conducted a joint investigation,” said Sandoval.

The former state attorney general during Sandoval’s governorship, Édgar Veytia, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in the United States in January, and Sandoval claims to have been caught up in a smear campaign in the wake of that trial.

But Sandoval said that he was “not [Veytia’s] boss” and distanced himself from the former attorney general’s criminal actions.

“I don’t know any criminals, any drug traffickers,” he said before stating that he did not appoint Veytia to the position, but rather proposed him for confirmation by the state chamber of deputies, who elected him to the position.

Sandoval has defended his record since the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on him in May of last year. He told Milenio that the investigation into his presumed illicit enrichment came out of confusion over a sale of purebred horses and the purchase of a ranch and house.

“I raise livestock. I don’t buy horses, I sell horses. … I’m not ashamed of coming from the country and going back to the country after being in politics. There is some confusion about the purchase of purebred horses, a ranch and a residence,” he said.

Sandoval added that he currently has access to the properties in question, but that his bank accounts and those of his immediate family have been frozen.

He claimed that the accusations are part of a smear campaign led by Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) national president Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo.

“Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo has set out to revile me, to play politics with me. As he was my rival in 2011 and I beat him, he’s taking advantage of the fall of [Veytia] to burn me too,” said Sandoval.

He added that the federal auditing office has conducted numerous audits on him and never found any irregularities. He reiterated that he never misused government funds and asked that his family be left out of the controversy.

He also emphasized that there are no criminal charges filed against him, merely administrative proceedings.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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