The Electoral Tribunal of the Federal Judiciary (TEPJF) of Mexico decided on Wednesday that Pío López Obrador, brother of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, be investigated for alleged illegal financing of the governing party, National Regeneration Movement (Morena).
With six votes against and one in favor, the magistrates rejected the proposal of their colleague José Luis Vargas, who considered in a draft sentence that “the National Electoral Institute (INE) no longer had the power to investigate since 2018.”
With this, it was manifested that the position of the majority of the magistrates is that the INE continues with the investigation to determine “if Pío López Obrador incurred in a crime.”
Felipe Fuentes, Janine Otálora, Felipe de la Mata, Mónica Soto and Reyes Rodríguez, president of the Electoral Tribunal, agreed that the statute of limitations could not be used and that the date of the facts must be established in the investigation.
For this reason, they approved the application of the audit regulations modified in 2017, which states that “the statute of limitations must take place when three years have passed since the INE has knowledge of the facts.”
In relation to this, the body has known the facts since the opposition National Action Party (PAN) and Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) filed the complaint and shared the video.
On August 20, 2020, Pío López Obrador appeared in a video in which alleged deliveries of money by Chiapas state government official David León Romero are observed.
Without speaking specifically of money, León Romero tells Pío López Obrador in a video dated June 26, 2015, that he brings him “one.”
While on May 31, three weeks earlier, the two met at a restaurant and, at some point, he put a yellow package on the table and told him the phrase “here I bring you 400.”
According to media reports, the president’s brother received cash supports for 1.4 million pesos (about $68,000) in 2015 for Morena in Chiapas from León Romero.
In addition, last July, material from 2015 was disclosed on the site Latinus in which Martin Jesus Lopez Obrador (another brother of the president) allegedly receives 150,000 pesos ($7,500) from David Leon Romero, at that time representative of the Government of Chiapas.
The media reported that the recording is authored by León Romero himself, who was head of the National Coordination of Civil Protection in the first months of López Obrador’s government.