A former governor of Coahuila who was been widely condemned for embezzling billions of pesos appears determined to hold public office once again, this time as a representative in the state legislature as a Deputy.
Politicians and other public figures — including a bishop — have expressed disbelief and outrage after the intentions of Humberto Moreira, who raised the state’s debt level from US $27 million to $2.8 billion during his term as governor between 2005 and 2011, were made public.
Members of the opposition National Action Party agree that Moreira’s main purpose is to obtain the benefit of the fuero, a privilege that grants immunity against prosecution of government officials.
“That man is still, to this day, unable to explain how he spent the mega-debt he left in Coahuila,” said state PAN leader Bernardo González.
“What little shame this man has,” he added.
“It is clear that [Moreira] needs a fuero to protect him from future accusations,” said PAN Senator Luis Fernando Salazar.
By being voted into a Deputy’s seat and earning the fuero, Moreira will be looking to continue “the same practices of corruption and impunity,” opined PAN member Guillermo Anaya.
The president of local citizens’ watchdog Participación Ciudadana 29 said she “thought it was a joke, and I hope it stays that way.”
“What is he looking for? The fuero?” asked Patricia Vargas, echoing PAN members quoted by the weekly newsmagazine Zeta Tijuana.
Particularly outspoken was the Bishop of Saltillo. Over a month ago, when it was reported that the local Partido Joven, or Young Party (PJ), had offered Moreira a candidacy, Bishop Raúl Vera López remarked that party members “must have been drugged” to suggest it.
Zeta reported yesterday that he questioned Moreira’s intentions while addressing his parishioners during Mass.
“Is it fair that an individual that stole 36 billion pesos is now pursuing a candidacy?” he asked.
Human rights activist and Catholic priest Alejandro Solalinde called Moreira’s announcement “a mockery of justice.”
He said anything is possible for politicians under the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto, because “cynicism has no limits.”
When announcing his political intentions for June 2017, Moreira, who is also the former national leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), stated that he had been exonerated of all the corruption scandals in which he had been implicated.
He added that his political life has been marked by continually climbing ladders.
Moreira has never been charged with a crime but two of his former colleagues have been less fortunate. One cabinet secretary in the Moreira government is awaiting sentencing for fraud and money laundering while another is wanted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.