Photo: Andres Lopez Obrador
The leftist candidate in Mexico’s July 1 presidential election said Wednesday that the campaign of the ostensible winner was financed in part with dirty money.
“I have elements to say that money of illicit origin was used in the campaign of (Enrique) Peña Nieto,” Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a press conference in the capital.
Peña Nieto, representing a coalition led by the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, won the election with 38.21 percent of the vote, while Lopez Obrador took second place with 31.59 percent, according to the final official tally.
But the leftist hopeful filed a motion last week with the TEPJF electoral court seeking to have the election overturned, pointing to reports of vote-buying by the PRI and other violations.
“Triangulation” among front companies was used to supply the Peña Nieto campaign with money that came from PRI-controlled state governments “or from organized crime,” a member of Lopez Obrador’s legal team, Jaime Cardenas, said at Wednesday’s press conference.
The alleged front companies were linked to Monex, a bank that provided debit cards the PRI handed out to voters in a bid to secure support for Peña Nieto, the lawyer said.
Mexico’s governing National Action Party has likewise criticized the PRI over the debit cards, though it is not challenging the election results.
Cardenas mentioned the names of purported front companies, including Inizzio, Atama, Koleos, Tiguan and Efra, and presented incorporation documents showing that several of them were created on the same day and shared corporate officers.
He also said the PRI exceeded campaign spending limits by a factor of 12.
The PRI, which governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000, lost the 2000 presidential election to the conservative National Action and finished third in 2006.
During its 71 years of largely unchallenged hegemony, the PRI relied mainly on patronage and control of organized labor and the mass media, though it was not above resorting to outright vote-rigging and even violence.
Lopez Obrador lost the 2006 contest to National Action’s Felipe Calderon by 0.56 percent of the vote, but the leftist never accepted the result as legitimate.