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News Article

Armed Forces at Customs, Ports / Lozoya Will be ‘Collaborating’

By Ricardo Guzman | Fri, 07/17/2020 - 12:03

Army and Navy to control customs and ports. To strengthen the fight against crime and drug smuggling at customs and ports, from now on the Army and Navy will manage these federal offices, President López Obrador said. “Land and maritime customs will be under the charge of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Navy, the same for the country's ports,” he said during his daily briefing at Manzanillo’s Sixth Naval Region, in Colima. The president highlighted that the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF), Santiago Nieto, and the Customs Administration head Horacio Duarte attended the last security cabinet meeting.

Lozoya will be a “collaborating witness.” President López Obrador said there are reports that former PEMEX head Emilio Lozoya will be a collaborating witness for the Attorney General (FGR). “I have information that there is a commitment from Mr. Lozoya to report on what happened,” he said. The president explained that the “collaborating witness” scheme is similar to the witness protection program in the US. López Obrador asked the FGR to report on the process against Lozoya, who arrived yesterday to Mexico after being arrested and extradited from Spain.

Lozoya hospitalization confirmed. Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) Alfonso Durazo confirmed that former PEMEX head Emilio Lozoya had been transferred from a Mexico City prison to a private hospital. “He developed anemia, problems with his esophagus as well as certain weaknesses in his general health. He remains in custody,” he said. Lozoya is accused of overpricing a fertilizing plant purchased by PEMEX during the past administration.

COVID-19 pandemic prolonged. President López Obrador said the COVID-19 pandemic has been prolonged, but that the federal strategy is working. “Fortunately, the curve has flattened, but the pandemic is prolonged. We have the capacity to care for the sick throughout the country,” he said. The president highlighted that in only four months, over MX$25 billion has been allocated to attend to the health emergency, including hiring 50,000 health workers and providing hospitals with equipment.

Citizens will decide on former presidents. Citizens and authorities can decide if former presidents should be tried in court; however, he does not support this idea, President López Obrador said. “Since I took office, I have said that a consultation was needed. It was my approach for citizens to decide whether presidents from the neoliberal period should be brought to court, such as (Vicente) Fox, (Carlos) Salinas, (Felipe) Calderón and (Enrique) Peña Nieto,” he said.

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Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor