From AMLO’s assistants to Federal Officials in the blink of an eye

Octavio Almada Palafox protested on April 23 as the new head of the National Aquaculture and Fisheries Commission. He went from earning 54 thousand 558 pesos net to 104 thousand pesos. Photo: (Reforma)

Many members of the MORENA political party, who do not have the necessary education or training, have been appointed by the president himself as public officials, without having the qualifications to fulfill the duties of a position of this magnitude.

Mexico City, May 04, 2021, (REFORMA).- Although they began as assistants to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a dozen officials have managed to climb to the “golden bureaucracy” in positions with salaries that exceed 100,000 pesos per month.

Although they do not have experience in public practice in sectors such as energy, environmental, tax, water, labor, education, and health, their closeness to the President has been sufficient to be appointed to key positions in the Public Administration.

Thus, they have stopped working in the logistics of tours, receiving papers and gifts from citizens, supervising the security of the federal president, or fencing off the convoy of their trucks, to be at the forefront of decision-making in different areas in at least seven Secretariats of State.

The most recent appointment is that of Octavio Almada Palafox, who protested last Friday, April 23, as the new head of the National Aquaculture and Fisheries Commission (Conapesca).

According to official reports, in the Assistantship, he received a monthly salary of 54 thousand pesos net, while in his new position he will earn more than 104 thousand pesos, as his predecessor did.

He has a degree in Sports Psychology, a master’s degree in Public Administration and is currently pursuing a doctorate in this discipline at the Sonoran Institute of Public Administration (nothing to do with Aquaculture and Fisheries).

Last March, Arlette Silva Magaña declared the conclusion of her responsibility in the Presidential Assistantship to take over as head of the Procurement Management for Projects of Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

With this, her income went from about 37 thousand pesos to more than 104 thousand pesos per month.

The official, who previously was a personal assistant of the head of the Federal Executive”, now occupies the highest position in the oil company.

According to her professional background, although she has experience in the energy sector, this has been limited to the private initiative.

Between 2005 and 2006 she supervised construction contracts for the Intel del Golfo company; between 2006 and 2007, she also carried out supervisory tasks at the Industrial Predictive Maintenance Buffet; for the period 2008 to 2016, she worked as field staff at the company Fugro Chance México.

In September 2020, when the President ordered a clean-up in the National Water Commission (Conagua), he appointed José Antonio Zamora Gayosso, another member of his assistantship, as Legal Deputy Director of the Agency.

The rise was accompanied by higher income since his salary went from 35 thousand pesos to just over 103 thousand pesos a month.

Although he is a lawyer by profession, the official had no experience in hydraulic matters at the time of his hiring.

In that same month, another member of the presidential team became a federal official, in the Ministry of Public Education (SEP).

Diego Alberto Hernández Gutiérrez was presented at a press conference at the National Palace as head of the Elisa Acuña Scholarship program.

The graduate in Politics and Social Management from the UAM has worked as an advisor to the National Assembly of Ecuador and in the Sports Commission of the Chamber of Representatives, as well as project coordinator in the Secretariat of Social Development of Mexico City.

In 2016 he was an alternate candidate for multi-member representative of Morena in Mexico City, he has been part of the Advisory Council of that political party and participated in the presidential campaign of López Obrador in 2018.

In November 2019, Ángel Carrizales López was appointed as head of the National Agency for Industrial Safety and Environmental Protection (Asea).

In that position, he receives more than 107 thousand pesos per month, that is, 61 thousand pesos more than as an assistant to the President.

Before reaching that position, the official was rejected five times by the Senate to occupy a space in the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), for lack of experience and professional qualifications.

Between 2011 and 2013 he worked as a technical specialist at Pemex; From 2013 to 2015, he served as an environmental administration advisor in the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Mexico City.

From 2015 to 2018, he was in the payroll at the Finance Secretariat of the Morena party (who knows doing what).

In July 2019, Paloma Rachel Aguilar Correa, left the Assistantship to become General Administrator of Resources and Services of the SAT, where she is responsible for the budget management of the agency. She is also a former candidate of Morena to the Governor of San Luis Potosí.

Paloma Rachel Aguilar Correa left the Assistantship to become General Administrator of Resources and Services of the SAT. She went from receiving around 40 thousand pesos to more de 103 thousand. Photo: (Reforma)

After her designation, at least six people entered the institution in key positions: his father-in-law, friends, close collaborators and her boyfriend, Javier Portugal Dorantes.

Javier Portugal Dorantes, worked in the Presidency Assistantship, where he earned a salary of 40 thousand pesos. Now, as Central Administrator of Taxpayer Services of the SAT, he receives about 63 thousand net pesos per month. Photo: Reforma.

July 2019, Alejandro Antonio Calderón Alipi, a former member of the Presidential Assistantship, was appointed as Coordinator of Supply and Distribution of Medicines of Insabi.

He is a doctor who graduated from the Popular Autonomous University of Puebla, with studies abroad in the field of trauma, orthopedics, and administration in health services.

However, his work experience is limited to having worked as an on-call doctor in the Emergency area of ​​the private hospital Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, between 2013 and 2014.

On that same date, during a tour, the President appointed Carlos Sánchez Meneses, as Coordinator of Hospital Infrastructure.

With the position, the man almost tripled his salary since he went from earning 40,650 pesos, to receiving 103,837 pesos a month.

With a master’s degree in architecture, his declared work experience refers to being a construction manager at Inmobiliaria y Constructora SA de CV, between 2013 and 2018.

Diego Camacho Aquiáhuatl was also part of the President’s personal team, although he is now registered as a temporary worker with the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. Despite the change, his monthly income is around 40 thousand pesos.

Before working in the Assistantship, he was the territorial operational coordinator of Morena and the diffusion coordinator of the El Milagro theater.

Source: Reforma