US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo charged he had received bribes from drug traffickers
by the Mexico News Daily
The United States government announced on Friday that former Nayarit governor Roberto Sandoval Castañeda and his immediate family members are ineligible for U.S. visas due to involvement in corruption.
Noting that the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated Sandoval in May 2019 for corruption-related conduct, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the public designation of Sandoval in accordance with the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act due to “significant involvement in corruption.”
Pompeo said that the ex-governor misappropriated state assets and received bribes from drug trafficking organizations, including the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
“In addition, Mr. Sandoval accepted bribes from the Beltrán Leyva Organization, which President George W. Bush identified as a significant foreign narcotics trafficker pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2008,” he added.
Pompeo said that once the Secretary of State designates officials of foreign governments for their direct or indirect involvement in significant corruption, those individuals are ineligible for visas to the United States.
The law also requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate the immediate family members of such officials, he said.
“In addition to Mr. Sandoval, the department is publicly designating his spouse, Ana Lilia López Torres; his daughter, Lidy Alejandra Sandoval López; and his son, Pablo Roberto Sandoval López,” Pompeo said.
“Today’s action sends a strong signal that the United States is committed to fighting systemic corruption in Mexico. The United States stands with the people of Mexico in their fight against corruption. The department will continue to use these authorities to promote accountability for corrupt actors globally and near our border, particularly when that corruption is connected to drug trafficking.”
Although Sandoval – Institutional Revolutionary Party governor between 2011 and 2017 – has now been designated by both the U.S. Treasury and Department of State, he does not currently face any criminal charges in the United States.
In Mexico, Sandoval’s bank accounts were frozen by the government’s Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) after his U.S. Treasury designation last May.
A federal court last month rejected an application by Sandoval to have access to his bank accounts reinstated, ruling that information provided to the UIF by the U.S. Treasury about the ex-governor’s designation is sufficient grounds to keep the accounts blocked.
Sandoval, who has denied all the accusations against him, had argued that the United States does not have jurisdiction over the acts of corruption of which it accuses him because they allegedly took place in Nayarit. It consequently doesn’t have the right to advise Mexico to freeze his accounts, the ex-governor said.
The ex-governor’s attorney general, Édgar Veytia, was sentenced last September to 20 years in jail in the United States for drug trafficking.
He pleaded guilty to accepting payments from drug cartels to help them smuggle cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine into the United States from 2013 until his arrest in San Diego, California, in March 2017.
Source. Reforma (sp)
Coronavirus could hurt exports to the tune of US $1.3 billion: UN
The automotive sector is expected to take the biggest hit, with exports falling by US $493mn
Mexico’s exports could decline by US $1.37 billion due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The intergovernmental body said in a report that the slowdown of manufacturing in China due to the outbreak of Covid-19 is disrupting world trade and could result in a $50-billion decrease in exports across global value chains.
“Because China has become the central manufacturing hub of many global business operations, a slowdown in Chinese production has repercussions for any given country depending on how reliant its industries are on Chinese suppliers,” UNCTAD said.
According to UNCTAD estimates, Mexico will be the eighth most affected economy after the European Union, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and the United Kingdom.
“In addition to grave threats to human life, the coronavirus outbreak carries serious risks for the global economy,” said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi.
“Any slowdown in manufacturing in one part of the world will have a ripple effect in economic activity across the globe because of regional and global value chains.”
UNCTAD said its estimates showed that the most affected sectors would include precision instruments, machinery, automotive and communications equipment.
In Mexico’s case, UNCTAD is predicting that the automotive sector will take the biggest hit, with exports forecast to fall by $493 million.
The next most affected sectors are predicted to be electrical machinery, with a forecast export decline of $341 million; “various” machinery, $228 million; communications equipment, $71 million; office machinery, $58 million; precision instruments, $57 million; wood products and furniture, $52 million; rubber and plastics, $26 million; and metals and metal products, $23 million.
UNCTAD noted that the estimated effects of Covid-19 are subject to change depending on the containment of the virus and/or changes in sources of supply. As of Friday morning, there were five confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mexico and 35 possible cases.
Source: Milenio (sp)