Mexican tribunal quashes fine against president-elect's party
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's electoral tribunal has revoked a $10 million
fine imposed on the party of leftist President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who had condemned the sanction as "an
act of vengeance" against him for his July 1 election victory.
The fine was handed down by the National Electoral Institute in July over a trust that Lopez Obrador's National
Regeneration Movement (MORENA) had created to help victims of the destructive earthquakes that struck Mexico in September
In a statement issued early on Saturday, the
Federal Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Branch said its magistrates had ruled the INE probe was not exhaustive or consistent
enough to uphold the fine.
As a result, it was not clear that MORENA had benefited from the allegations in question,
leading the tribunal to "respect the presumption of innocence" of the party, it said.
[Typical of Mexico and other Latin American countries, IMHO. Lopez Obrador most likely pocketed
money meant for earthquake victims. -- Webmaster]
He was accused of stealing millions and implicated in a deadly disaster. Now he's a Mexican senator
MEXICO CITY - In 2006, a methane explosion tore through the Pasta de Conchos coal
mine in northern Mexico, killing 65 men toiling underground.
relatives members of the victims blamed the disaster partly on Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, the leader of the country's largest
miners union, which less than two weeks before the accident had signed off on a government report that deemed the mine safe.
That same year, Gomez was accused by federal officials of pocketing tens of millions of dollars from a workers trust fund.
He fled to Canada with his family and Interpol issued a warrant for his arrest. The embezzlement charges were dropped in 2014,
but the twin scandals made Gomez a pariah in Mexican politics.
is why what happened this week was so improbable. Not only did Gomez return to Mexico after more than a decade in self-imposed
exile, he was swiftly sworn in as one of the country's newest senators.
His triumphant return was made possible by
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist politician who won July's presidential election in a landslide.
had continued to lead the Mexican Union of Miners and Metalworkers, or Los Mineros, from abroad, had urged his group's
thousands of members to vote for Lopez Obrador.
In turn, Lopez Obrador promised to name Gomez as a lawmaker representing
Morena, the political party he founded. (While most senators are elected by the public, some seats are reserved for political
parties to distribute according to the votes the parties receive.)