New Corruption Allegations Come at a Bad Time for AMLO

New Corruption Allegations Come at a Bad Time for AMLO
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador listens during his morning press conference at the National Palace, in Mexico City, Mexico, Jan. 5, 2023 (photo by Gerardo Vieyra for NurPhoto via AP Images).

Six months before Mexico’s next presidential election, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s approval rating is sitting at 55 percent. His hand-picked successor, former Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, has more than a 20-point lead in many polls. And his ruling Morena party should coast to victory in the accompanying legislative elections. However, a string of corruption allegations against the president’s family and party have put Lopez Obrador, better known as AMLO, on the defensive in recent weeks, chipping away the teflon coating that has protected him during his five years in office.

Two weeks ago, journalist Carlos Loret de Mola published a report alleging that one of the president’s sons, Gonzalo Lopez Beltran, is implicated in a contractor network that has been accused of overpricing materials for the construction of AMLO’s flagship rail infrastructure project, the Tren Maya. Verified audios of Amilcar Olan, a friend of all three of AMLO’s sons, portray Gonzalo as having played a critical role in directing the contracts to the network. And the allegations from the audio tapes have been largely confirmed by various documents obtained through freedom of information requests.

Loret has dubbed his investigation into AMLO’s sons and their close business associates as “El Clan.” Last week, another investigation by Loret’s Latinus media outlet revealed that Daniel Asaf, AMLO’s personal assistant, served as the mastermind behind many of the deals that Gonzalo engaged in.

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