The International Chamber of Commerce ( ICC , in English) considered this Tuesday that the president of our country, Andrés Manuel López Obrador , is “trying” to end corruption despite scandals within his government and his own family .
“You have to put things in perspective. There are problems without a doubt, but this administration is trying to take action on this matter,” said Diego Sierra , president of the ICC’s Anticorruption Commission during a forum of representatives of the organization in Latin America in the eve of the International Day Against Corruption .
López Obrador took power in 2018 with a fiery speech against the corruption of previous governments.
However, during his tenure the press has uncovered some cases such as a conflict of interest of the director of the Federal Electricity Commission ( CFE ), Manuel Bartlett ; the alleged electoral bribes that a brother of the president received or, recently, the Pemex contracts awarded to his cousin .
“Indeed, these cases have a tinge of illegality , that is why they have to be investigated and as far as we are aware they are being investigated by the competent authorities,” Sierra said. He recalled that the contract with Bartlett’s son’s company, which sold ventilators for covid-19 patients to the Mexican government, has already been “revoked” well above the market price.
And he assured that the cases of the president’s relatives, Pío López Obrador and Felipa Obrador , are being “investigated” by institutions such as the Financial Intelligence Unit ( UIF ) of the Ministry of Finance .
Sierra admitted that “of course it is frustrating” to see these cases in a government that claims “very strong triumphs in eliminating corruption”, but stressed that “that does not mean that they are not being fought.”
The president told a press conference on Monday that the contracts awarded to his cousin by Pemex were an “omission” by the state oil company and confirmed that they had already been canceled .
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography ( Inegi ), corruption in Mexico has maintained a growing trend since 2013, going from 12 victims of corruption per 100 inhabitants to 16 victims in 2019.
During his term, López Obrador has annulled the National Anticorruption System , designed by the previous government, considering it useless, and has eliminated 109 science and human rights trusts that he considered plagued with corruption.
In addition, proceedings have been initiated against Rosario Robles , former secretary of Social Development of the Enrique Peña Nieto government , for alleged diversion of public funds and against the former director of Pemex Emilio Lozoya , implicated in the Odebrecht case.
Likewise, López Obrador has called for next year a controversial popular consultation for citizens to decide whether to investigate for corruption and, where appropriate, denounce several former presidents of the country.