Friday, June 21, 2024

Opposition questions 1.7mn peso loan to AMLO’s brother

Opposition lawmakers have questioned the legality of a 1.77-million-peso (US $89,000) government loan received by President López Obrador’s brother in 2019.

According to documents obtained by the newspaper El Universal via the government’s online transparency platform, the federal development bank Nacional Financiera granted José Ramiro López Obrador a loan when he was deputy minister for border affairs, migrants and human rights in the government of Tabasco.

Nacional Financiera offers financial support to people who work in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors. López Obrador, who left his deputy minister position last October, owns cattle ranches in Macuspana, Tabasco, and Palenque, Chiapas.

The president’s brother also received federal government subsidies to offset insurance costs, according to El Universal.

Opposition lawmakers said that the case was one of double standards, noting that President López Obrador says that his administration is combatting corruption and nepotism but at the same time allows a family member to benefit from a government loan scheme.

National Action Party (PAN) Deputy Pilar Ortega said Tuesday that the parliamentary group of which she is part is drawing up a formal request for an investigation into the case. She said the request will be submitted to the Federal Auditor’s Office and the Ministry of Public Administration, which serves as the government’s internal corruption watchdog.

“[We’re going to] ask for an investigation in order to find out if this loan was granted within the framework of the law,” Ortega said, adding that the probe must also establish whether the funds were used for electoral purposes.

Institutional Revolutionary Party Deputy Fernando Galindo, secretary of the budget committee in the lower house of Congress, said that a review must be carried out to determine whether the granting of the loan complied with government rules.

Senator Julen Rementería, leader of the PAN in the upper house, said the case provides more evidence that President López Obrador’s government is the “most corrupt in the history of our country.”

Even Deputy Aleida Alavez of the ruling Morena party conceded that there are questions to be answered about the loan.

“It will have to be reviewed; it doesn’t sound appropriate that he received it, being a [government] official [at the time],” she said.

Tabasco Governor Adán Augusto López Hernández, José Ramiro López Obrador’s boss at the time that he received the loan, declined to comment on the issue after a meeting with the president at the National Palace on Tuesday. “I have to go, thank you very much,” he told reporters.

It’s not the first time a brother of President López Obrador has been in the spotlight for receiving money. Pío López Obrador hit the headlines last year after video footage surfaced showing him receiving large amounts of cash from a Chiapas government adviser in 2015.

Pío López Obrador and the president denied allegations of corruption. The latter said that the payments were “contributions to strengthen the [Morena] movement” and came from ordinary people who supported the party, which he founded in 2014.

Both cases involving President López Obrador’s brothers were revealed by the journalist Carlos Loret de Mola, an outspoken critic of the federal government.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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