After three years in justified preventive detention, and without starting a trial, Rosario Robles, the only former secretary of state accused of La Estafa Maestra, was released this Friday at the request of her defense and the Attorney General’s Office (FGR).
“(The FGR) assessed the state of health of this person and the security measures that guarantee his presence in the process, so it asked the Control Judge for his consent to modify the precautionary measure of justified preventive detention,” the institution explained in a statement.
The control judge decided to release her and impose as precautionary measures the prohibition of leaving the country without authorization, delivering her passport to the FGR, and periodic presentation to the prosecutor’s office.
“Justice was done and what I said from the first day, that I am innocent and I am absolutely willing to appear before the competent authorities, but of course, as I had the right and as I have the right, in freedom,” Robles said last night after leaving the Santa Martha Acatitla prison.
“It has been three years of a lot of learning, three years in which I have known injustice firsthand,” he told reporters.
Rosario Robles will continue her process in freedom, after spending just over three years in the Santa Martha prison Acatitla.@ManuVPC reports from the house of the former official, in the Coyoacán mayor’s office.
Robles entered Santa Martha Acatitla on August 13, 2019, accused of the crime of improper exercise of public office, having not informed her superior, President Enrique Peña Nieto, of the irregularities that occurred in the Secretariat of Social Development (Sedesol) when she directed it.
Although the crime, practically administrative, did not merit preventive detention as a precautionary measure, Judge Felipe de Jesús Delgadillo Padierna considered that there was a risk of flight, after the prosecutors presented an alleged driver’s license located by the National Center for Planning, Analysis and Information for the Fight against Crime (Cenapi), the intelligence organ of the FGR, with a different address than the one Robles had officially registered.
This element was considered a determining discrepancy, considering that she had lied, coupled with the lack of roots in Mexico City because she was not employed at that time and because she was traveling abroad when she was notified of the accusation.
Judge Delgadillo Padierna considered that these elements and the contradiction in which his lawyers fell during the defense on the reason for his trip abroad (one said he was on vacation and another that he was taking a course) confirmed that he could escape, and imposed the precautionary measure of justified preventive detention.
In the three years that followed, his case never moved forward to start a trial and, despite various legal attempts and appeals that his defense won, they had not managed to change the precautionary measure, neither because of his age nor state of health, which deteriorated in the following months.
Nor did it matter that the driver’s license presented by Cenpai was found to be false and that it had been the central element in confirming the risk of flight.
The Master Scam is the journalistic investigation carried out by Political Animal and Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI), which revealed that 11 agencies of the Peña Nieto government made agreements with eight public universities to make alleged services such as buying pantries, drilling oil wells or creating software.
Universities in turn outsourced to 186 companies, but they turned out to be ghosts, so public money disappeared.
Although the mechanism involved a hundred officials and occurred in dependencies such as Pemex, headed by Emilio Lozoya; Banobras, with Alfredo del Mazo, or Sagarpa, with Enrique Martínez y Martínez, Robles was the only secretary of state accused in the case.
At the beginning of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Attorney General, Alejandro Gertz Manero, assured that La Estafa Maestra would be investigated as “organized crime” and the investigation would reach all levels.
So far, however, the investigation has been limited to individual trials against minor officials, and without charging any of the other former secretaries of state.
The prosecutor’s office has also not investigated the route of the money, which involves 7 billion pesos of public resources – within the dependencies and the chain of responsibilities and authorizations of the outflow of money – nor the movements in the bank accounts of the shell companies.
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