In Mexico, Corruption Scandals Leave No Politician Untouched—Not Even AMLO

In Mexico, Corruption Scandals Leave No Politician Untouched—Not Even AMLO
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at his daily, morning news conference at the presidential palace in Mexico City, July 13, 2020 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

MEXICO CITY—Every weekday at 7 a.m., President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds a press conference at the National Palace here in Mexico’s capital. Known as the “mananera,” the marathon sessions set the news cycle, but also function similarly to President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, offering opportunities for Lopez Obrador to troll opponents and rally supporters as he pontificates for two hours to a blurry-eyed press corps.

Last month, Lopez Obrador, who is popularly known as AMLO, raised eyebrows at one of these events when he suggested that the public should know the full details of then-confidential corruption allegations made by Emilio Lozoya, the former head of state-run oil giant Pemex and a top official on former President Enrique Pena Nieto’s 2012 campaign.

Lozoya’s 63-page declaration was promptly leaked to the media the next day, offering sordid accounts of foreign money influencing domestic politics and lawmakers taking payoffs in exchange for their votes. The central figure in Mexico’s biggest corruption scandal in recent years, Lozoya was extradited from Spain in July, on charges of money laundering, racketeering and bribery. He has since cooperated with the authorities and avoided imprisonment.

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