Peña Nieto Will Not Be Subpoenaed...For The Time BeingBy Pedro Alcalá | Tue, 08/03/2021 - 09:43
Mexico’s Attorney General Office (FGR) has declined to subpoena former president Enrique Peña Nieto for the time being.
The idea of forcing Peña Nieto to come forward originated from the defense team of former PAN senator Jorge Luis Lavalle, who is currently the only person being held in custody due to the revelations shared with authorities by former PEMEX director Emilio Lozoya Austin. Lavalle’s lawyers believe that Peña Nieto should be summoned to answer for a number of corruption cases surrounding the legislative passing of the Energy Reform and the management of PEMEX at the time of his presidency. In fact, Lavalle’s lawyers delivered a long list of politicians and government officials from the Peña Nieto administration who should potentially be subpoenaed as part of this case if the full sequence of events surrounding the passing of the Energy Reform is to be clarified. According to a document accessed by Milenio, this list included former SHCP head Luis Videgaray, former presidential candidates Jose Antonio Meade and Ricardo Anaya, former PEMEX directors José Antonio González Anaya and Carlos Treviño, and more senators and even governors, including controversial Tamaulipas governor Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca.
FGR rejected Lavalle’s demands, making clear that subpoenaing all of these people would not be appropriate given the fact that the case is still in a phase of initial investigation. However, a separate Milenio report claims that Videgaray and Anaya are currently under investigation by FGR, along with a number of individuals identified as the “on-the-ground operatives” of these major political figures. The case being built on top of Lozoya’s declarations is also suffering from some additional setbacks, since the witnesses that Lozoya has relied on to back up his version of the events surrounding the passing of the Energy Reform have failed to support his narrative. These witnesses include former personal assistant to Lozoya, Rodrigo Arteaga Santoyo and former manager of PEMEX’s administrative department Francisco Olascoaga Rodríguez. Lozoya claimed that Olascoaga was the one who taped the video of several legislators receiving cash in exchange for their votes in favor of the reform, but Olascoaga denied having any involvement in the political process to pass the reform, since it was “not within his responsibilities.” Lozoya’s position is also being further weakened by the UIF’s recent presentation of a sixth charge of political corruption against him.
As the results of the national plebiscite concerning the crimes of former presidents, which took place this last Sunday August 1st, continues to generate discussion in Mexican media, it remains to be seen to what extent these proceedings will evolve into an actual case or prosecution against Peña Nieto, any of his close allies or any other former president for that matter. Meanwhile, the case against Lavalle has been postponed three months, pending further investigations and gathering of evidence.