AMLO says Mexico to probe company founded by his chief of staff

Cenote destroyed by Romo's Enerall and damage to the Maya jungle. Photo: Vice

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico’s Environment Ministry and its federal comptroller will investigate Enerall, a company founded by his Alfonso Romo, AMLO’s chief of staff.

Romo is under the spotlight as his family company destroyed a cenote in Yucatan, killing flora and fauna specimens, allegedly to start building the first phase of an Enerall water plant, with which Romo is thought to be planning to take control of the water in the region.

The investigation comes after multiple media outlets simultaneously published a news report on Monday March 2, alleging the agro-industrial company drained parts of the Yucatan peninsula of its groundwater.

Romo’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the government’s investigation, nor did Enerall.

Chief-of-Staff Alfonso Romo left the company in late 2018, but other family members are still in charge of Enerall, according to the news report, published by Aristegui Noticias, Univision, Proceso, #RuidoEnLaRed, Vice Connectas and The Yucatan Times.

AMLO´s chief of staff involved in major scandal as journalists uncovered his involvement in concessions to exploit the largest amount of underground water for agricultural use in the Yucatán Peninsula.

“What I know is that he’s no longer a member of the company,” Lopez Obrador said in response to questions about Romo at his daily press conference.

“The Environment Ministry has to investigate. There’s no impunity,” Lopez Obrador said. “What I can say is that when Alfonso Romo and other public servants enter government, they can’t have links to companies. There’s no problem here with conflicts of interest.”

Enerall was accused of destroying a cenote, a body of fresh water sacred to local Mayan communities, as well as killing local wildlife, according to the news report.

Enerall was fined around $30,000 by environmental prosecutor Profepa for the damage, and the case wasn’t taken to criminal courts, according to the report.

Source: Bloomberg