The navy's Rafael Ojeda The navy's Rafael Ojeda: 'If you have been told to set corruption aside, let's do it.'

Navy chief blames corruption on lack of honest public servants in government

But the armed forces are an exception and can serve as an example to others, says Rafael Ojeda

Mexico’s corruption problem is due to a lack of honest public servants, navy chief Rafael Ojeda said Monday.

He told President López Obrador’s morning press conference that a lot of officials haven’t heard or haven’t acted on the government’s call to abandon corrupt practices.

However, members of the armed forces are an exception and can serve as an example to other public servants, Ojeda said.

“[In the military], we create public servants for Mexican society and let me tell you, because it’s something that is very true, Mexico lacks honest public servants; that’s why we have this big corruption problem,” he said.

“What we [the armed forces] give society are public servants, women and men, with a lot of ethics, a lot of values and principles, and that is what we would like the many young people and the many professionals within the public service to understand. If you have been told to set corruption aside, let’s do it.”

In contrast with other government institutions, the armed forces always impose sanctions on members who have done the wrong thing, the navy minister said, explaining that the military cannot afford to have bad apples within their ranks.

“We create women and men with values, with principles – personnel who have professional ethics, who know they must take a course or path … that will generate a full professional life for them and not get them involved in problems,” Ojeda said.

“We have young people who … take another course but they’re punished. The big difference between us and a lot of other institutions is that we can’t afford to have bad elements because from the general to the last soldier, from the admiral to the last sailor, we’re public servants,” he said.

Ojeda’s remarks came two months after he offered a scathing assessment of the judicial branch of government, declaring that it seems to be the “enemy” of the state in many organized crime cases.

Mexico News Daily

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