miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, 28 de septiembre.- El líder del Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena), Andrés Manuel López Obrador, omitió dos propiedades en su declaración ‘3de3’, según un reporte del Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Se trata de dos departamentos que –a decir del medio- fueron adquiridos cuando era Jefe de Gobierno de la Ciudad de México en 2002. Los registros, detalla el WSJ, muestran que son dos inmuebles de 76 metros cuadrados, ubicados en la delegación Coyoacán con un valor aproximado de 2.1 millones de pesos, al tipo de cambio actual.

Como parte de su declaración ‘3de3’, López Obrador aseguró que no contaba con ninguna propiedad inmobiliaria o automóviles y que sus ingresos anuales como líder de Morena son aproximadamente de 602 mil pesos.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, presidente de morena, saluda a sus partidarios en la Ciudad de México, en junio. (Ginnette Riquelme / Reuters)

Hasta el momento, quien es considerado uno de los candidatos más fuertes de la izquierda a la presidencia en las elecciones de 2018, no ha emitido alguna postura sobre el tema.

La nota de Juan Montes en el Wall Street Journal

MEXICO CITY— Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a leading contender for Mexico’s presidency in 2018 who casts himself as an honest figure fighting a corrupt political mafia, failed to disclose two apartments he owns in his declaration of assets released in August.

The leftist recently joined growing numbers of Mexican politicians in releasing a full accounting of their wealth, following public pressure from a series of conflict-of-interest scandals that have dogged the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Mr. López Obrador made what amounted to a declaration of poverty. He said he didn’t own a checking account or credit card, and made only $31,000 a year as head of his own political party, the Movement for National Regeneration, or Morena. He also claimed he didn’t own any properties or cars.

But he failed to disclose ownership of two apartments in Mexico City purchased during his time as the capital city’s mayor, according to public property documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The records show Mr. López Obrador bought the two adjacent 818-square-foot apartments in the southern borough of Coyoacán in 2002 for a total of around $109,000.

Mr. López Obrador was mayor from 2000 to 2005. There is nothing illegal about his property purchase, but misrepresenting his net worth may hurt his credibility as an honest broker.

“This is an offense to transparency and honesty. He had the obligation to declare the apartments in his statement,” said Max Kaiser, an anticorruption expert at IMCO, a nonprofit that promotes government accountability. “People expect him to be consistent with his rhetoric.”

Mr. López Obrador’s spokesman César Yáñez said the politician bought the two apartments but donated them to his two eldest sons. However, Mr. López Obrador is still listed in the public registry as the owner.

Mr. Yáñez said Mr. López Obrador’s sons will soon be listed as owners. He said the paperwork has been delayed because Mr. López Obrador’s first wife, the mother of his eldest sons, didn’t have a will. She died in 2003.

Mr. López Obrador has narrowly lost Mexico’s presidency twice, and is widely seen as a leading contender in the next election in 2018.

The silver-haired 62-year-old draws the support of 24% of voters, narrowly trailing former first lady Margarita Zavala with 26%, according to a recent poll by newspaper Reforma. Other polls place Mr. López Obrador first with as much as 28%.

His political capital has risen in the past two years as scandals have piled up around Mr. Peña Nieto’s administration, including conflict-of-interest allegations over a $4 million mansion bought by the first lady, Angélica Rivera, from a prominent Mexican government contractor. Ms. Rivera has denied wrongdoing and has since sold the house.

The scandals are a big reason Mr. Peña Nieto’s approval ratings are in the low 20s, the lowest for any president in two decades.

Mr. López Obrador often rails against corruption. His pitch to Mexicans is simple: He is an honest figure in a country run by sneaky and corrupt politicians. Many Mexicans, particularly the young, see him as the nemesis of Mr. Peña Nieto and the country’s elites.

Mr. López Obrador’s disclosure resulted from a civic initiative that seeks to improve accountability in government by urging officials and political leaders to disclose their assets, net worth, tax returns and private economic interests.

Initially, Mr. López Obrador disregarded the initiative, calling it a “joke” that wouldn’t be useful against corrupt politicians. But as leaders of the main political parties released their own declarations, pressure mounted on Mr. López Obrador to do the same.

After submitting his declaration last month, Mr. López Obrador talked about his frugal life. “I don’t really have material belongings. What I had I handed over to my sons”, Mr. López Obrador said in a video posted in his YouTube account. “What I value most in my life is honesty.”

His disclosure seemed aimed at highlighting the difference between him and other politicians in a country where many high-ranking public servants end their terms flaunting luxury homes and cars.  Andrés Granier, a former state governor from Mr. López Obrador’s home state of Tabasco, had 19 properties in Mexico and abroad, according to local media citing public records, and has boasted of owning 400 pairs of shoes. Mr. Granier is in jail awaiting trial after he was charged in 2013 with money laundering and embezzlement of public funds. Mr. Granier has denied wrongdoing.

After leaving the moderate-left Party of the Democratic Revolution in 2012, Mr. López Obrador formed his own political party, Morena, in 2014. The party obtained 18% of votes cast in state elections this year and has become the main political force in Mexico City. (El Financiero / The Wall Street Journal)