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AMLO denies drug cartel financing in his 2006 presidential campaign

by Yucatan Times
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Andrés Manuel López Obrador rejected allegations on Wednesday that his first presidential campaign nearly two decades ago received financing from drug cartel leaders in exchange for future help with their criminal operations from his would-be government.

The allegations are laid out in extensive reports published earlier in the day by investigative news outlets ProPublica, Insight Crime and Deutsche Welle. The reports cite U.S. drug enforcement officials and their Mexican informants, who describe at least $2 million from major cocaine traffickers they say was provided to Lopez Obrador’s 2006 unsuccessful presidential run and its bitter aftermath.

The informants include a couple of close aides to the then-candidate.

“It’s completely false, it’s a slander,” Lopez Obrador said when asked about the report at his regular morning press conference.

“There’s no proof,” he added, “they are vile slanderers.”

The 2006 campaign was the first of the leftist Lopez Obrador’s three presidential runs, which he lost by less than 1 percent of the vote to conservative Felipe Calderon. Calderon went on to launch a bloody, controversial war on Mexico’s powerful drug gangs.

Lopez Obrador, who has pursued a more nonconfrontational security policy regarding organized crime, has long argued he was cheated out of the presidency in 2006.

In the months after that election, he launched a monthslong takeover of downtown Mexico City with thousands of his supporters, even presiding over a ceremony in which he was proclaimed the legitimate president.

Among ProPublica’s findings: One prominent cartel leader supplied Lopez Obrador’s supporters with money for food.

Lopez Obrador, who also lost a 2012 race before eventually winning in a 2018 landslide election, said he mostly blames U.S. officials for what he called unethical actions, not the latest news.

“I’m not going to carry out any formal complaint, but I denounce it. Not the journalist or journalists. I denounce the United States government for allowing these immoral practices that are contrary to the political ethics that should prevail in all governments,” he said.

TYT Newsroom

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