Friday, October 23, 2020

Mexico: President Lopez Obrador declares zero corruption in his government

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President López Obrador has declared that there is “zero corruption” in the federal government as a result of his dedication to “sweeping away” what has developed over the past 30 years.

Speaking at an event on Friday at the Matehuala Rural Hospital in San Luis Potosí, López Obrador railed against his predecessors, declaring that the past five presidents from Carlos Salinas de Gortari to Enrique Peña Nieto used their time in office to loot the country’s wealth.

On the same day as he denounced the excessive spending of the Peña Nieto government on supplies for the presidential plane, the leftist leader accused past presidents of reckless extravagance, claiming that they squandered public money on things such as luxury toilet paper and overseas junkets.

López Obrador also took aim at past governments’ “forgiveness” of the tax debt of large companies and the nation’s wealthy, charging that public coffers were deprived of 400 billion pesos (US $20.5 billion) in revenue during the administrations of Peña Nieto and Felipe Calderón alone.

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“A famous bank didn’t pay taxes while farmers, doctors, nurses and workers did,” the president said.

Under his administration, tax debt forgiveness has been eradicated, López Obrador declared using a colorful colloquialism to make his point.

Related: Mexico Considers Banning Cash for Gasoline Purchases, Highway Tolls

“There is zero corruption” in the cabinet and government departments, the president said, adding that citizens now need to follow his example and put an end to – or “sweep away” – the “cancer” that afflicts Mexico more broadly.

López Obrador cited his government’s crackdown on fuel theft as one of the big challenges it inherited from past administrations, which he claimed tacitly approved the crime and even factored in the revenue losses it caused.

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The president claimed that on his watch, petroleum theft has declined 95% from 80,000 barrels per day to 4,000.

As a result, 50 billion pesos (US $2.6 billion) that would have been lost had theft levels remained the same will flow into government coffers, López Obrador said, pointing out that the amount is higher than the entire annual budget of the state of San Luis Potosí.

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