You know those imaginary friends two year-olds have when they don’t have anyone else to play with? Well the government from Veracruz, Mexico just made millions out of theirs. As it turns out Javier Duarte, Governor of Veracruz and representative of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has been paying 3,300 million pesos – which is something around 170,527,904.73 dollars – to companies that are not actually there.
Animal Politico, a publication focused on investigative journalism, was the first to accuse Duarte of making all this money “disappear,” along with 10 other members of the Veracruz government. The SAT (Servicio de Administración Tributaria), basically the Mexican version of the IRS, has already pressed charges against these public workers to the PGR (Procuraduría General de la Nación), the Mexican Department of Justice, with two reports explaining the importance of the case and why these people should be removed from office and be forced to pay. A judge already granted an order for the arrest of the main 10 public workers accused. Out of the 10 people involved 6 present some “relevant inconsistencies” which will allow them to remain under investigation.
This case has presented a huge spotlight on the corruption citizens of Mexico have accused the government for so many years. The government of Veracruz is showing a precedent of what could happen to state governments all over the country. This has been one of the biggest corruption cases in the country’s history, but several people believe that it has to do with the government as a whole, and not just with Veracruz. Many of them think that even the president Enrique Peña Nieto may be involved in buying properties just to make money he should not have “disappear” as it happened with his famous “white house” scandal.
One of the biggest concerns of the public is that they could create these “companies” without even the need of getting any physical proof. This means that they did not even have a registered office or location for this companies. People are worried about how fast and easy the government could spend all this money without even needing to show that an office existed. This without even considering that all that money came from public money, meaning the taxes payed by thousands of Mexicans.
Many complains have been linked to Javier Duarte during his time in office, but never has the public felt so worried and betrayed by the local government. Corruption is a problem that should be in every Mexican’s mind and one that the federal government should be focused on fixing in order to fix their relationship with the people.