Since his media arrest in February last year in a luxury urbanization in Spain and his subsequent extradition to Mexico, Emilio Lozoya has not set foot in jail. Central piece in the corruption case of Odebrecht, accused of receiving and managing millionaire bribes from the Brazilian construction company, an agreement with the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) has limited the punishment of the former director of Pemex to the withdrawal of his passport and the placement of a follow-up bracelet while there is little progress in the investigations. A photo uploaded to social networks on Saturday night in which Lozoya appears dining in a restaurant with a group of friends has once again aroused indignation in Mexico about a case that was emerging as emblematic of the fight against impunity.
In the photo, the former director of Pemex is seen from behind sitting at the table with four other people. The scene, uploaded to social networks by a journalist who allegedly had dinner at the next table, ran like wildfire, also opening all kinds of speculation about the date and place of the snapshot. It is allegedly a restaurant in Las Lomas de Chapultepec, one of the most expensive and exclusive neighborhoods in the country’s capital.
Despite being already charged by a judge for the crimes of money laundering, criminal association and bribery, Lozoya’s agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office has turned him into a kind of protected witness / collaborator. In exchange for maintaining his privileges, the former director of Pemex must provide enough information to blame his superiors. The thesis to be demonstrated is that former president Enrique Peña Nieto and his right-hand man, Luis Videgaray, were the ones who orchestrated and planned the bribes of 10 million dollars distributed between the PRI electoral campaign in 2012 and the payments to opposition legislators for approve the energy reform.
In August of last year, Lozoya launched a cataract of accusations spread among the highest of the last two Mexican governments. The strategy has served him at the moment to avoid jail pending the preliminary decision of the judge, who continues to investigate accusations that reach three former presidents, two presidential candidates and 11 legislators.
However, amid delays and a lack of transparency, criticism grows. The former director of Pemex has already added four extensions to convince the judge, exceeding the six months established by law. For now, the balance of the Mexican derivative of the Odebrecht case, which has put the political class in check in several Latin American countries, is only one of those named in jail. In April, former PAN senator Jorge Lavalle was indicted for receiving bribes in exchange for approving the energy reform early in the term of former PRI president Enrique Peña Nieto.
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