The ex-chief of the state-owned Mexican oil company Pemex was the first Mexican official to be charged with the corruption scandal surrounding the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. A federal judge in Mexico City yesterday ordered a lawsuit against Emilio Lozoya, including on charges of bribery, the country’s judicial administration said. The 45-year-old had been delivered from Spain to his home country just two weeks earlier.
According to the judiciary, during a video conference hearing, Lozoya affirmed his innocence, but stated that he wanted to name the culprits. Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the ex-manager could give insight into a corrupt network in the government of his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto. Because of his cooperation, Lozoya does not have to be remanded in custody, according to the president.
From 2012 to 2016, he was director of the highly indebted group Pemex. He is said to have accepted bribes of up to $ 10 million from Odebrecht. The Brazilian construction group is at the center of what is probably the largest corruption scandal in Latin America. Hundreds of politicians, officials and businessmen are under investigation across the region. A total of $ 785 million in bribes are said to have flowed.