Controversy continues to swirl around the administration of Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte, as a media investigation this week alleged that 21 sham companies created by top state officials diverted 645 million pesos (USD$35 million) in state contracts during 2012-2013.
The Mexican investigative news website Animal Politico reported that it found that top Veracruz state officials close to Duarte awarded government contracts to a closed network of 21 companies whose existence is doubtful. The secretariats that approved the contracts can’t confirm that anybody ever received the products, according to Animal Politico. “What’s known for sure is that the 645 million pesos that the 73 contracts cost the state treasury are gone,” the report alleged.
Animal Político said it requested a response from the Veracruz state government and the state agencies involved about the signing of the contracts, having submitted its database of all the contract awards and tenders for their review. The state government’s information director, Bernardo Gutiérrez Parra, said that owing to the ban on imparting certain information during the campaign (the so-called “veda electoral”) the government is impeded from taking a public position, according to Animal Politico.
Those government officials who participated in the awarding of contracts who are now PRI federal deputies were also asked for their response. The response of the communications office for the PRI legislative caucus was that the legislators were taking part in Veracruz election campaigns and were not available for comment, according to the report.
To read the entire Animal Politico report in English, click here.