Former presidents could be indicted, AMLO said

The elected president Andrés Manuel López Obrador accepted to submit to citizen consultation his proposal not to punish corrupt government officials prior to the beginning of his administration.

Since Monday November 19, the incoming president has assured in interviews and events that he does not seek revenge and considers that if he persecutes corrupt officials from previous administrations, he could put the country’s political stability at risk.

In an interview, López Obrador affirmed that in case of pressure from the citizenship, he would seek to prosecute those accused of corruption and, since he does not seek simulation, he would begin with the higher levels, that is, with the ex-presidents.

To the question of who would start, the president-elect said that they would start with Carlos Salinas de Gortari (President of Mexico from 1988-1994).

On Wednesday November 21, in an interview with Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui, the future head of the Executive reiterated his vision and warned that, in case of persecution against corrupt government officials, not all of them would necessarily end up in prison, they would need to go to court first.

He also considered that taking the former presidents to court would somehow be “to conspire against the political stability of the country.”

We would have to prosecute Salinas, (Ernesto) Zedillo, (Vicente) Fox, (Felipe) Calderón and (Enrique) Peña Nieto, and that would be too much of a scandal, and that could interfere with the plans I have to end corruption, “AMLO told Aristegui.

In that sense, he said that during his campaign he never offered to imprison politicians for acts of corruption, since that would generate a conflict worse than the one experienced in recent years in Brazil.

“We would do more harm to the country than benefits if we unleash a hunt for the corrupt. I am interested in a change of regime.  My power is not absolute, I am not a dictator, but as head of the Executive I will not persecute anyone for revenge, I want justice, not revenge, ” AMLO said.

Journalist Carmen Aristegui and Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Photo: Aristegui Noticias)

López Obrador added that he is in favor of a “final point” (punto final), with which the acts of corruption that are committed from December 1st on, will be punished with new laws, and corruption will be considered a serious crime.

“From that date on, zero corruption and zero impunity,” López Obrador offered.

However, Aristegui questioned him if he would accept a consultation to decide whether or not to judge the former presidents, and the president-elect accepted.

“The president should promote justice so that there is no scapegoating and people like Salinas, Zedillo, Fox, Calderón and Peña could be hold accountable for corruption acts,” said the future president.

This consultation would be carried out after the legal reforms to streamline this mechanism of participatory democracy be done, and it would be organized by the National Electoral Institute (INE).

The Yucatan Times Newsroom with information from Forbes.com.mx



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