President López Obrador has announced that all customs personnel in Manzanillo, Colima, will be relieved of their posts in light of corruption.
“All of those officials are going to go away. We have very bad reports on customs in Manzanillo, and we’re going to wipe it totally clean,” the president told reporters in response to a question about Captain Héctor Mora Gómez, chief of customs in Manzanillo.
Several news outlets reported last week that Mora had not included several businesses he owns in his declaration of assets.
Investigations by the federal Attorney General’s Office and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration have linked him to money laundering, drug trafficking since the 1980s and possible ties to the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
Addressing reporters, López Obrador said that a fresh slate for customs in Manzanillo was just the beginning of a nationwide plan to purge corrupt officials from customs offices around Mexico.
“The days of profiting and scheming in customs are over, and in the case of Manzanillo, we’re going to completely clean it out.”
The president said a high-level commission had visited Manzanillo to investigate and discovered institutionalized corruption. He added that Manzanillo was far from being the only customs office guilty of questionable practices.
He called on corrupt officials to resign rather than to risk future scandals.
“Because if they cling to [their posts] thinking that they’re going to sneak by, they’re not going to get away with it, and taking care to follow procedure with dignity, sometimes they are going to be exposed and thrust into the spotlight. It’s not worth it — the days of corruption and impunity are over.”
Despite the investigations into Mora’s activities, the transportation secretary confirmed a week ago that he would remain in charge of Manzanillo customs. In January, López Obrador confirmed Mora’s posting, describing him as an honest person.