Stolen funds could pay for Mexico´s colossal earthquake damage

By Elliot Bullman

Money stolen by former state governors could easily cover the costs of rebuilding after this month’s earthquakes, an analysis reveals.

Total funds stolen by 22 former Mexican governors who have been accused of corruption add up to 259 billion pesos (US $14.5 billion at the current exchange rate), according to the newspaper El Universal.

sismo cdmx 19 4

That’s 29 times the balance of the federal disaster relief fund, and more than sufficient to rebuild infrastructure damaged or destroyed during the September 7 and 19 earthquakes. The funds allegedly stolen by seven ex-governors on the list represent nearly half the total.

Javier Duarte Ochoa, who governed Veracruz between 2010 and 2016, allegedly stole 35 billion pesos during that period. And one Duarte is followed by another: César Duarte Jáquez, governor of Chihuahua from 2010 to 2016, has been accused of stealing 80 billion pesos.

embargan a cesar duarteCésar Duarte. Original image: official Twiter accountEje Central

Nayarit’s Roberto Sandoval Castañeda, whose term as governor ended last week, is facing a legal complaint for illicit enrichment and mismanagement of at least 1.5 billion pesos.

Rodrigo Medina de la Cruz, governed Nuevo León from 2009-2015, has been accused of embezzlement and pecuniary damage to the state coffers to the tune of 3.6 billion pesos.

The alleged corruption of former Quintana Roo governor Roberto Borge Angulo, currently on a hunger strike in a Panamanian prison, is said to have cost the state treasury 1.9 billion pesos during his term, between 2011 and 2016.

borge detencionFormer Quintana Roo governor Roberto Borge Angulo.

In Colima, the state auditor’s office has said that former governor Mario Anguiano Moreno diverted over 2.1 billion pesos of state funds during the six years of his administration, between 2009 and 2015.

Yucatán’s Rodrigo Zapata Bello, the only governor currently in office onEl Universal‘s black list, has been singled out by the state auditor’s office for an alleged misuse of resources that amounts to 30.1 million pesos. Zapata took office in 2012, and his term ends next year.

All seven governors took office under the banner of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

mexico economia

On the other hand, some governors currently in office have pledged to give rather than take by helping with earthquake relief and reconstruction efforts.

Francisco Domínguez Servién of Querétaro has pledged to donate his year-end bonus, about 250,000 pesos, while Jaime Rodríguez Calderón of Nuevo León pledged almost one month’s salary, which amounts to just over 105,000 pesos. José Ignacio Peralta Sánchez, governor of Colima, donated half his monthly salary of 97,000 pesos.

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