Correction: Mexico-Brazil Corruption Probe story
MEXICO CITY (AP) — In a story Aug. 14 about corruption allegations against the former head of Mexico’s state-run oil company Pemex, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office said the Brazilian companies Odebrecht and Braskem were involved in paying bribes in Mexico. The Attorney General’s Office said only that Odebrecht had admitted paying bribes in Mexico.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Ex-head of Mexico’s state oil company denies taking bribes
The former head of Mexico’s state-owned oil company is denying accusations that he took bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The former head of Mexico’s state-owned oil company, a key campaign adviser to President Enrique Pena Nieto, has denied accusations that he took bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
Emilio Lozoya said Sunday via Twitter that he was never corrupt and suggested the allegations were made by executives seeking to reduce their own sentences in Brazil.
His lawyer Javier Coello Trejo said on Radio Formula on Monday that “we will prove that Emilio Lozoya did not receive a single cent of those supposed $10 million that they paid as a bribe.”
The Brazilian newspaper O Globo said Sunday it had obtained statements made by former Odebrecht’s director in Mexico Luis Alberto de Meneses Weyll to investigators. De Meneses Weyll said that from 2012 to 2014, Odebrecht paid Lozoya $10 million to win a contract for work on a refinery in central Mexico. Lozoya left Pemex last year.
Mexican investigative media collaborative Quinto Elemento Lab and anti-corruption nonprofit Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity also reported they have prosecution documents detailing payments to offshore accounts allegedly linked to Lozoya. The authenticity of the documents could not be immediately confirmed.
Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that it did not have all of the information from Brazilian investigators, but would pursue the case to its ultimate consequences.
It noted that Odebrecht and another company, Braskem, had pleaded guilty in federal court in New York in December 2016 to paying bribes in a number of countries. The Mexican Attorney General’s Office said that Odebrecht acknowledged paying $10,500,000 to Pemex officials.
The Attorney General’s Office said it had already taken statements from a number of Pemex executives as part of its own investigation. Coello, Lozoya’s lawyer, said that his client had offered to give a statement, but the agency had still not scheduled him to come in.
When the alleged payments began in 2012, Lozoya was an adviser to Pena Nieto’s campaign and a leader of the Institutional Revolutionary Party.