On November 2014, President Peña Nieto faced questions about his family’s purchase of a 6.9 million USD mansion held by a company whose owner, Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantu, has won multiple government projects during the president’s administration and his previous term as a state governor of the State of Mexico.
Then, on December 2014, it was made public that Mexico’s finance minister, Luis Videgaray, also bought a home from the same government contractor in an exclusive Golf Club in the town of Malinalco, State of Mexico.
However, on Monday August 24th, Public Affairs Secretary Virgilio Andrade Martínez officially announced that neither President Enrique Peña Nieto nor the Treasury and Public Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso incurred in any conflict of interest in the acquisition of properties in Lomas de Chapultepec, the Ixtapan de la Sal municipality and the Malinalco Golf Club, State of Mexico from the current federal government contractor Juan Armando Hinojosa Cantú’s Grupo Higa.
In a press conference, Andrade said that after a six-month investigation, the opening of 17 investigation files and the interrogation of 111 public servants, the agency has concluded that neither Peña Nieto nor Videgaray signed or formed part of the 22 public contracts with the business connected to Hinojosa, ruling out conflict of interest.
The residency located at 150 Sierra Gorda in Lomas de Chapultepec known as “the white house,” was bought by first lady Angélica Rivera Hurtado with her personal money before Peña Nieto was president.
Andrade noted that the property in Ixtapan de la Sal was acquired prior to Peña Nieto becoming a public servant, adding that he declared the acquisition to the State of Mexico Comptroller’s Office in 2005 and 2006.
“The conflict of interest terms stated in Mexican law refer to active public servants, not any individuals. When the contract of sale was signed, neither Enrique Peña Nieto nor Angélica Rivera Hurtado were public servants,” explained Andrade.
The secretary said that Videgaray bought the Malinalco Golf Club Residence during his time as federal deputy.
“The contract of sale was signed Oct. 10, 2012, and was paid in the terms specified in the agreement,” said Andrade.
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