(Opposition presidential candidate in the 2018 elections and former national leader of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) Ricardo Anaya claims he is a victim of political persecution by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and has “temporarily” fled the country. But accusations against Anaya were first aired during the past presidential administration and came from leaders of his own party. They have been coupled with allegations by former Pemex director Emilio Lozoya that he was involved in multi-million dollar bribes paid to legislators to approve the neo-liberal energy reform. Former Minister of Labor Felipe Lozano under PRI president Enrique Peña Nieto also accuses Anaya of money laundering. Anaya and the old political regime are trying to deflect attention away from their crimes by claiming political persecution by AMLO, the oldest trick in the book. The President urges Anaya to take advantage of his day in court)
Ricardo Anaya’s farse
(La Jornada editorial)
In a videotaped message that he circulated through social networks, former PAN presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya Cortés said he was the victim of political persecution. He claimed that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador considers him an obstacle for his succession plans for 2024 and intends to imprison him, because he doesn’t like what he says, and announced that he will be out of the country for a short period of time.
The message of the also former president of the PAN was released after press reports remerged according to which the Federal Attorney General’s Office accused Anaya, Ernesto Cordero Arroyo (also a PANista) and David Penchyna Grub (PRI) of the crime of criminal association, when all three participated, as senators, in the approval of the energy reform during the past presidential administration.
According to legal dispositions by former Pemex director Emilio Lozoya Austin, which were leaked a year ago, the three previously mentioned politicians, as well as Francisco Domínguez Servién (currently outgoing governor of Querétaro), José Luis Lavalle Maury (currently in prison and on trial), and Miguel Barbosa Huerta (currently governor of Puebla), had received millions of dollars as ordered by Luis Videgaray Caso, former Minister of Finance, to vote in favor of the reform.
Furthermore, during the past presidential administration, Anaya was the target of judicial investigations for alleged money laundering in the acquisition of an industrial complex in his native state of Querétaro, as a result of a complaint filed by Cordero Arroyo himself and publicly supported by another fellow party member, Javier Lozano Alarcón, former Minister of Labor.
Therefore, Anaya’s current claim that he is suffering political persecution by presidential order is as untenable as it is implausible, as it is a pretext for his flight from the country for a short period of time.
The publicly available information on the antecedents of the PAN political leader is enough to see his announcement as an attempt to claim victim status, either in the hope of escaping or at least delaying justice, while he seeks court injunctions and other legal subterfuges to avoid his arrest- or as a political and propaganda marketing maneuver to improve his position in the fierce dispute taking place in the ranks of the opposition for the leadership of the three-party coalition and for the presidential candidacy for the 2024 elections.
In addition, with his accusation and his advance flight, Anaya only strengthens the suspicions that hang over him, because if he were certain of his innocence, what would be most logical would be for him to wait for his day in court and appear in order to discredit the accusations against him.
It should be noted, however, that resorting to the claim of political persecution is, at this point, a worn out maneuver in the mouth of politicians and former officials accused of acts of corruption. This same tactic has been used by, among others, Lavalle Maury; Pemex fraudster businessman Alonso Ancira; former Minister of Social Development Rosario Robles; the still governor of Tamaulipas, Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca; fugitive legislator Mauricio Toledo, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, who so far has not been legally charged with any accusation, and even Emilio Lozoya’s own lawyer, who had no qualms in asserting that his client suffered political persecution by the past administration.
To conclude, the hackneyed allegation of political persecution, the eagerness to claim to be a victim without grounds for doing so, the pretension to neutralize accusations of corruption, and the temptation to obtain political gain from a strictly judicial investigation, not only tarnishes the justice system and institutional life in general, but also further discredits those who resort to such farces.
Source: La Jornada, Monday, August 23, 2021