Saturday, December 2, 2023

Friends, family get jobs at tax department through AMLO’s ex-assistant

A former member of President López Obrador’s security detail secured jobs for her partner, father-in-law and at least four friends and associates at the federal tax administration, according to the newspaper Reforma.

A report published Tuesday said Paloma Rachel Aguilar Correa, an ex-member of López Obrador’s informal security detail known as the presidential ayudantía (literally assistants or helpers), began working at the SAT in July 2019.

Aguilar was appointed as general manager of resources and services in September last year, a role that gave her responsibility for managing the budget.

In subsequent months, at least six people with close links to the president’s former “bodyguard” were hired by the SAT despite not having experience relevant to the positions they now hold, Reforma said.

Three months after taking on the general manager role, Aguilar appointed her father-in-law, Javier Portugal Haces, to the position of resources and services operation manager. He previously worked as an adhesive tape salesman, Reforma said.

Aguilar also appointed Jorge Antonio Dorantes Arellano to a management role. He was part of Aguilar’s campaign team when she ran as a San Luis Potosí candidate for federal deputy in the 2018 election.

Three of Aguilar’s friends were also appointed to management roles at the tax agency and her partner, Ángel Javier Portugal Dorantes – also a former member of López Obrador’s security detail – joined the SAT in February as a taxpayer services manager.

Responding to the allegations of nepotism, the president said Tuesday that he would instruct the Ministry of Public Administration to conduct an investigation into recruitment practices at the SAT.

“We have to ask them to investigate … and to give us a report. We’re going to do it,” López Obrador said.

When Aguilar, a law graduate, was appointed to the tax agency last year, the president described her as “honest” and “incorruptible” and asserted that such qualities were needed at the agency.

López Obrador has made combatting government corruption a central aim of his administration but some of his own flagship programs, including a youth apprenticeship scheme and a tree-planting employment project, have allegedly been plagued by the scourge.

One study published in June said that corruption had slightly worsened in Mexico over the past year despite the president’s promise to end it.

Source: Reforma (sp) 

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