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Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, backed his son José Ramón López Beltrán on Monday, who denied that he has a conflict of interest for having lived in Houston, Texas, in the house of an executive of Baker Hughes, a government contractor.
The president referred to his son’s first public statements, this Sunday, after it was revealed in January that he and his partner, Carolyn Adams, occupied in 2019 and 2020 a house that belonged to Keith L. Schilling, a Baker Hughes executive, who that year obtained a contract from Pemex.
“I am a private citizen, and I have no interference whatsoever in the Mexican government,” López Beltrán said in a brief statement.
But the president’s son unleashed another scandal of alleged conflict of interest in revealing that since 2020 he has been working as a lawyer for KEI Partners, a firm owned by the sons of Daniel Chávez, a businessman who advises López Obrador on his Tren Maya megaproject.
In addition, Chávez is founder of Vidanta, a consortium with 30 luxury tourism developments, and a member of the president’s advisory council, according to the organization Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI).
“In effect, it is a company owned by Daniel Chávez’s sons that helps me as an honorary supervisor in the Mayan Train, but he does not charge absolutely nothing nor do we have a business relationship, he has no business with the Federal Government, there is no problem of interest, he is one of the businessmen that help us,” stated the President.
López Obrador’s daughter and daughter-in-law have been the subject of controversy since the end of January, when MCCI and the media Latinus revealed their opulent life in Houston, Texas.
Despite López Beltrán’s explanations, critics denounced that public records show that he is not registered with the Texas Bar Association and that the company Kei Partners obtained his registration a month and a half before the beginning of López Obrador’s six-year term, in December 2018.
“We have at our disposal all the evidence, and we are willing to deliver it to the corresponding authorities, so that they when they believe convenient and opportune may or may not publicly disclose the information,” Adams said in a statement on his Instagram account.
The president has denied that there is a conflict of interest, but has not denied the details of the investigations.
Instead, he has accused journalist Carlos Loret de Mola de Latinus of being a “basher” and of receiving more than 35 million pesos a year (more than 1.7 million dollars). This was criticized by much of the country, especially taking into account the crisis of violence that Mexico is experiencing against the press, in which so far this year alone, 5 journalists have been murdered.