From López-Gatell to the relatives of AMLO or the former officials accused of corruption, these are the characters who, along with COVID-19, marked 2020 in Mexico.
In a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, in Mexico there are characters who, for one reason or another, have given something to talk about.
Officials and former officials accused of corruption, the undersecretary of Health, the opposition governors and even a first cousin of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, these are the 20 characters that 2020 leaves us.
President López Obrador reached his second year in office with several controversies, one of them for his resistance to using face masks as a preventive measure against the pandemic, and also for restarting his work tours in the midst of the health emergency. In other respects, the president was singled out for his statements regarding violence against women during confinement, and more recently, for taking long to congratulate Joe Biden, president-elect of the United States.
2. Hugo López Gatell
Since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Mexico, the Undersecretary for Prevention and Health Promotion has played an important role in the strategy to control the disease. Although he was initially applauded for his work in the face of the health emergency – and the hierarchy within the Ministry of Health was even questioned – López-Gatell has been criticized for the way in which he responds to the questions raised by the reporters attending evening lectures.
In addition, the opposition has filed complaints against him accusing him of negligence and opacity in the data. Meanwhile, López-Gatell continues with his work at the forefront of the strategy, leaving for history phrases such as “Stay at home”, “masks give a false sense of security”, “flatten the curve” and “with great pleasure we explain again. “
3. Relatives of AMLO
“Above the law, no one” is one of the slogans of President López Obrador, however, two of his relatives were evidenced for possible acts of corruption:
- His brother Pío López Obrador, who appeared in videos receiving cash from David León Romero, former national coordinator of Civil Protection. These acts occurred in 2015 when León Romero was the operator of the then governor of Chiapas, Manuel Velasco, and they exhibit alleged illegal financing of Morena’s electoral activities.
- His first cousin Felipa Obrador Olán, whose company, Litoral Laboratorios Industriales, obtained in this administration millionaire contracts from Pemex thanks to the fact that he allied with other companies to win the bids, omitting his relationship with the president; After revealing this information, the oil company canceled the agreements.
4. Manuel Bartlett
The current head of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) carries the electoral fraud of 1988, when he was Secretary of the Government, and which he confirmed in 2017. But it is not his only controversy: only this year it was announced that the company owned by his son León Manuel Bartlett Álvarez, Cyber Robotics Solutions, sold respiratory ventilators to IMSS at a surcharge.
It also transpired that the owner of what was López Obrador’s campaign house was a partner of the Bartlett family; and later, with the rainy season, the official engaged in accusations with the governor of Tabasco, Adán Augusto López, for alleged mismanagement of the Las Peñitas dam, which caused severe flooding in three municipalities.
5. Claudia Sheibaum
The strategy of the government of Mexico City in the face of the pandemic was taken as an example by the Ministry of Health, since the capital of the country concentrates most of the cases and deaths of COVID-19 and even so, in the first wave, managed to contain the contagions. However, Claudia Sheinbaum’s position on not imposing sanctions on businesses or citizens who fail to comply with the measures earned her criticism.
6. José Luis Vargas
On November 3, the Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judicial Power (TEPJF) elected José Luis Vargas Valdez as the new president. The magistrate handed down a sentence against former presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya, who was fined 16,120 pesos for “defaming” businessman José María Riobóo during the third presidential debate; Furthermore, he is the author of the project for which the registration of Mexico Libre was denied as a party.
After spending a year under the scrutiny of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), it filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) against Vargas for possible irregular movements in his bank accounts. The presiding magistrate came to testify and denied the accusations.
7. Calderón and Zavala
Former president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) and his wife, former presidential candidate Margarita Zavala (2018), sought to consolidate their Mexico Libre movement as a political party, but the National Electoral Institute (INE) denied registration due to irregularities in their affiliations, decision ratified by the TEPJF. However, Mexico Libre announced that it would run in the 2021 elections with its own candidates or in alliance with other parties, such as the PAN, to which it placed a series of conditions.
8. Salvador Cienfuegos
General Salvador Cienfuegos, former head of the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena), was arrested on October 15 in the United States; the justice of that country accused him of drug trafficking and money laundering crimes, but in just one month the Mexican government achieved his release and extradition as a “man who has no charges”, this with the promise that the FGR would investigate the accusations made by his US counterpart, but the case information is reserved.
9. Genaro García Luna
The former secretary of Public Security, and who was one of the men closest to then-President Calderón (2006-2012), served a year in prison in the US, also for various drug trafficking charges. In October, he reached his first hearing, and despite the tons of evidence against him, he pleaded not guilty hearings were held this year and others were postponed. Meanwhile, the justice system and the government of Mexico worked to request his extradition, only that, unlike Cienfuegos, García Luna will have to face the accusations in the US before being sent to Mexico.
10. Emilio Lozoya
In February of this year, the former director of Pemex was arrested in a luxurious area of Spain, where he evaded Mexican justice; Four months later, he agreed to be extradited to this country and to be a collaborating witness for the FGR, to which he testified about an alleged network of bribery between PAN and PRI politicians, including former President Enrique Peña Nieto and former Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. His arrival in Mexico was controversial (and confusing), and he was also allowed to continue his process in freedom because according to the FGR, his statements have been useful.
11. Cesar Duarte
On July 8 of this year, the former governor of Chihuahua (2010-2016) was arrested in the United States, where he had resided since his term ended. César Duarte is subject to several arrest warrants for acts of corruption committed in Mexico, a government that requests his extradition, but this has not been granted, as well as the release on bail requested by the former PRI president.
12. Rosario Robles
In August, the former head of Sedesol and Sedatu served a year in preventive detention accused of omission in the diversion of resources in said dependencies (the Master Scam); In addition, a judge issued another arrest warrant for organized crime. Rosario Robles has sought to free her trial, like Emilio Lozoya, or to annul the accusation against her, but she has been denied. For this reason, her legal team announced that they could request that she be considered a protected witness of the FGR, even though she ruled out involving former colleagues.
13. Omar García Harfuch
The chief of the Mexico City Police suffered an attack on June 26 of this year, just eight months after taking office. Two people died at the scene: a woman who was passing by and an escort of the official. From the first moment, García Harfuch attributed the events to the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG). The management of the capital’s Secretary of Security has also been marked by the murders committed in the Historic Center area.
14. Rafael Caro Quintero
The name of Rafael Caro Quintero, one of the founders of the defunct Guadalajara Cartel in the 1980s, did not go unnoticed this year. The drug lord has been in the sights of the US authorities for seven years, who released three new elements surrounding the case:
- Bryant Espinoza Aguilar, the boss’s stepson, served as a foreman to avoid the seizure of a property located in Mexico City, which was acquired with the proceeds of drug trafficking.
- Lucio Rodríguez Serrano was included in the US blacklist because he was considered a collaborator of Caro Quintero, whom, according to the investigation, he has helped to “avoid being captured”, and also “has participated in real estate operations.”
- The DEA has been investigating for years whether there was corruption among the three magistrates who in 2013 decided to open the bars to Caro Quintero.
15. Mario Delgado and Porfirio Muñoz Ledo
This was a difficult year for Morena. The renewal of his presidency was carried out, by mandate of the Electoral Court, by means of an open survey of the militancy, which caused the annoyance of the then head of the party, Alfonso Ramírez Cuéllar. The contest was defined between two candidates, both federal deputies: Mario Delgado and Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, who exchanged accusations for possible acts of corruption and sexual harassment.
The three phases of the survey concluded in October with Mario Delgado as the winner. Thus, the new national leader of Morena would be in charge of “directing” the party towards the federal elections of 2021, since in the local elections that took place this year, the political institute lost power due to stagnation in its internal conflict. However, the definition of the candidacies was complicated for Delgado Carrillo.
16. Alfonso Durazo and Rosa Icela Rodríguez
In October of this year, Alfonso Durazo submitted his resignation to the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) to seek to be Morena’s candidate for the governorship of Sonora, a record that was granted on December 15. The politician left office amid accusations of the escalation of violence and insecurity in the two years of the current administration.
Rosa Icela Rodríguez, former Secretary of the Government of Mexico City and former Coordinator of Ports and Merchant Marine, took over from Durazo Montaño, becoming the first woman to head the Federal Government’s Security Secretariat.
17. Marcelo Ebrard
Chancellor Marcelo Ebrard has become a key part of the current government for different issues, and this year was no exception. The Foreign Secretary managed the negotiations for the arrival of vaccines against COVID-19 (among other issues related to the pandemic), advocated for the release and extradition of Salvador Cienfuegos, led the conversations with the team of the US president, Donald Trump, and later with Joe Biden; His name even came to light during Morena’s internal conflict, as it was said that he could be placed as presidential and “overshadow” López Obrador.
18. Ricardo Anaya
Since his defeat at the polls in 2018, the public appearances of PAN Ricardo Anaya were unusual. In August of that year, a month after the elections, he reported that he would dedicate himself to the academy, and since then he was not heard from … until August 2020, when he announced a lawsuit against Lozoya for moral damage, because the former director of Pemex accused him of having received bribes during the Peña Nieto government (the complaint was dismissed by a judge).
In September, the former presidential candidate confirmed his exit to political life to confront, he said, the government of López Obrador. Anaya Cortés has limited himself to launching videos on his social networks in which he criticizes the federal president.
19. Alliance Governors
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social implications, 10 state leaders created the Federalist Alliance, a bloc opposed to the López Obrador government that even, in September, decided to separate from the National Conference of Governors (Conago) . The main demand of this group is that the federal fiscal pact is reviewed and readjusted. Those who make it up are:
- Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, Governor of Jalisco by MC.
- Javier Corral Jurado, governor of Chihuahua for the PAN.
- Miguel Ángel Riquelme, governor of Coahuila for the PRI.
- Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca, governor of Tamaulipas for the PAN.
- Jaime Rodríguez Calderón, governor of Nuevo León (without party).
- José Rosas Aispuro, governor of Durango for the PAN.
- Diego Sinhue Rodríguez Vallejo, Governor of Guanajuato for the PAN.
- José Ignacio Peralta, governor of Colima for the PRI.
- Martín Orozco Sandova, governor of Aguascalientes for the PAN.
- Silvano Aureoles Conejo, governor of Michoacán for the PRD.
20. Miguel Angel Mancera
The current senator of the Republic received this year a sanction from the Comptroller of Mexico City: he was disqualified for a year from public service in the capital, after the TEPJF determined that, as head of government (2012- 2018), violated electoral norms in 2018 by giving preference to the propaganda on radio and television of the then-candidate of the Por México al Frente coalition, Ricardo Anaya.
But that was just a stain in the career of the politician who, although he is not a member of any party, has been nominated by the PRD. This same year, several former collaborators of Miguel Mancera were investigated and detained for alleged acts of corruption committed during his administration; one of them is Raymundo Collins, former secretary of Public Safety in the capital, who is wanted abroad.