Audits in the Vitol Case/AMLO Offers Asylum to Assange
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Audits in the Vitol Case/AMLO Offers Asylum to Assange

Photo by:   Gobierno de México
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Paloma Duran By Paloma Duran | Journalist and Industry Analyst - Thu, 05/26/2022 - 14:45

Feminicide of Debanhi Escobar. Deputy Minister of Security Ricardo Mejia announced that the exhumation of Debanhi Escobar's body has been requested in order to have a consensus on the cause of her death. “The Nuevo León Prosecutor's Office requested to exhume the victim's body to carry out investigations and forensic reports. This is important because there are differences in the causes of her death. We seek to clarify these facts and provide justice.”

On April 21, the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) reported that a body rescued from a water tank in Nuevo León matched the description of Escobar, the 18-year-old girl who disappeared on April 9. The Attorney General's Office autopsy exposed that Escobar's cause of death was due to an intracranial hemorrhage. It is believed that she drowned and did not experience sexual abuse. Nevertheless, the autopsy provided by the family confirmed that she died before falling into the water tank and that there were signs of sexual abuse.

Audits will not be canceled in the Vitol case: AMLO. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stressed that the audits on the Vitol scandal will continue until all the facts are clarified and those who received bribes will be held accountable. In addition, López Obrador stressed that it is not enough for Vitol to return the money generated from the contracts obtained through bribes, but rather to continue identifying those involved.

Two weeks ago, López Obrador threatened Vitol, a company accused of bribery during Peña Nieto’s government, to close its operations in the country if the names of the people involved were not revealed. Consequently, last week, Vitol handed over to the government the names of those allegedly involved. So far, the names have not been made public.

Political asylum for Julian Assange. López Obrador once again asked for the release of Julian Assange clearing all charges and offered him political asylum for being a journalist persecuted by the US government. “We continue to offer our asylum proposal. Mexico is in favor of dropping the charges against him because he is being unfairly persecuted. It is a shameful act for a person who reveals valuable information to be jailed."

Since 2020, López Obrador has offered political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Assange, who is accused of disclosing confidential US military and diplomatic reports on Afghanistan and Iraq. The US says that Assange's leakage endangered the nation security and the lives of citizens, for which he has a sentence of up to 175 years. López Obrador said that in addition to offering him political asylum, he wrote a letter to former President Donald Trump asking for Assange's pardon. However, he received no response. Currently, Assange is closer to facing US charges, as in April, the London court formally issued an order to extradite Assange to the US. No decision has been made so far.

In Mexico, López Obrador has been criticized for having an inconsistent policy with journalists since he wants to protect an international journalist, but does not protect Mexican journalists. Currently, the number of reporters murdered in Mexico rises to 11, making 2022 the most violent year for journalists. According to the organization Article 19, since the beginning of López Obrador’s government there have been 1,945 attacks against journalists, of which 33 have been murders.

Photo by:   Gobierno de México

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