Former Pemex chief Emilio Lozoya arrested in Spain


Former chief executive of PEMEX accused of corruption has been arrested in Spain, Mexico’s attorney general said on Wednesday Feb. 12.

Emilio Lozoya, PEMEX chief from 2012-18, is accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from scandal-tainted Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

“Thanks to the arrest warrant we obtained here from a judge and with great help from Interpol and the Spanish police, we’ve managed to arrest this individual,” Attorney General Alejandro Gertz told a Mexican radio station.

Lozoya was a top advisor to former president Enrique Pena Nieto (2012-18) and allegedly took bribes to help fund Nieto’s presidential campaign bid.

He’s also accused of having authorized the acquisition by PEMEX of a fertilizer factory for $500 million despite it being in a poor state and over-priced, according to government sources and experts.

Lozoya denies all the accusations.

Odebrecht, the largest construction firm in Latin America, has admitted to paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to win contracts in 12 countries, including Mexico.

The scandal has felled ex-presidents and top officials in countries including Brazil, Peru and Colombia, but there have been no arrests or prosecutions so far in Mexico.

Lozoya allegedly took more than $10 million in bribes from Odebrecht starting in March 2012, when he was chief international strategist for then-candidate Nieto.

© 2020 AFP