The Institute to Return the Stolen To the People (INDEP) was the body that contributed 2 billion pesos to pay the prizes for the presidential plane draw (which does not include the aircraft), which was held by the National Lottery for Public Assistance, this September 15.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador refers greatly to this institute and boasts it as one of the achievements of his administration and on more than one occasion has described how or in what he will invest the resources that the institute recovers and safeguards for its distribution.
But really where do the Institute’s resources come from, how much do they have and where do they apply, how much is left and what was it promised for? We’ll tell you.
THE INDEP and the raffle of the aircraft that does not include a plane
In a statement issued by INDEP on 7 February, the instance detailed that it would pay the 2 billion pesos of the aircraft’s draw prize. He said the resources would be taken from a Property Fund that INDEP administers. Ricardo Rodríguez Vargas, then the high school holder, said that the fund had four billion pesos at the time.
On February 10, the holder of the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic, Alejandro Gertz Manero, gave Rodríguez Vargas a check amounting to two billion pesos. He said the resources were obtained from an investigation into a corruption process.
On August 9, 2019, the National Domain Extinction Law was issued, and various provisions of the National Code of Criminal Procedures, the Federal Law on the Administration and Disposal of Public Sector Assets, the Law on Commercial Competitions and the Organic Law of the Federal Public Administration were reformed and added.
Precisely, the reform of the Federal Law for the Administration and Disposal of Goods allowed managed property to be assigned to a sweepstakes. What Rodríguez Vargas himself acknowledged before would not have been possible, as they could only be auctioned or delivered by direct alienation.
INDEP changed its headline in June 2020, following Rodriguez Vargaz’s resignation. Its current director, Jaime Cárdenas Gracia, explained that of the resources obtained from this raffle, 250 million pesos will go to the Ministry of Health, to deliver the Miguel Hidalgo decoration, to doctors, nurses and workers in that sector who have faced the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the creation of medical units of the Institute of Health for Welfare (INSABI) 179 million pesos will be allocated; 145 million pesos will be invested in the construction of road infrastructure in the Agua Prieta Bavispe section, Sonora.
Another 16 million will be for the purchase of musical instruments for bands of indigenous peoples of Oaxaca; 50 million will go to the municipality of Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero; 23 million to the edition of books on history and literature of Mexico that will be made by the Fund of Economic Culture; and 30 million pesos for the change of the electrical system of the Palace of Fine Arts.
How much do you have and what do they apply to?
After 2 of the 4 billion that INDEP had will be allocated to pay the prizes of the raffle of the plane, Ricardo Rodríguez Vargas said on February 10 that the remaining 2 billion pesos that the institute manages would be delivered to other social programs. Current legislation says insured property must be «used for public service, social programs or other priority public policies.»
According to the IDEP, all the goods that are recovered come from different units of the Public Administration and INDEP puts them up for sale through face-to-face auctions by hammer, closed envelope and online. Physical and moral persons can participate in these events.
So far, the Institute has held 6 «socially meaningful auctions». The seventh will be held on 20 September and according to INDEP the funds obtained will go to the health sector.
At the sixth auction, INDEP estimated a total exit price of 19.7 million pesos. It obtained 22 million 964 thousand pesos, for the sale of 204 lots of cars and diverse merchandise, which would also serve the health sector.
This figure is just under half of the resources obtained at the first auction that were 53 million 414 thousand 500 pesos for the sale of 232 lots of jewelry, vehicles and real estate. On that occasion, a 56% overprice was raised according to Rodríguez Vargas.
The head of the unit detailed that the resources of that first exercise were earmarked for the promotion of reading and culture, with the edition of 21 books, with a stretch of two million 100 thousand copies, which will be in charge of the Economic Culture Fund.
In the second auction it was obtained111 million 455 thousand 50 pesos, which they said would go to the Institute of Health for Welfare (INSABI) for the care of the health emergency by COVID-19. But in that commercial process 201 lots with a total exit price of 130.1 million pesos went on sale. That is, 19 million less than estimated were raised.
In the third auction the total exit price of the 257 lots was 78.7 million pesos. But 64 million 267 thousand 700 pesos were raised, almost 14 million less than expected, which were also earmarked for INSABI.
The fourth auction had a total exit price of 69.3 million pesos. It only raised 14 million 297 thousand 200 pesos, for the sale of 145 lots. Which means 55 million less than expected. On this occasion, the resources obtained were allocated for the benefit of the municipalities of high marginalization: Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero and, Temozón, Yucatan.
The fifth auction offered 307 lots with a total exit price of 27.2 million pesos. But it only managed to get 25 million 200 thousand 200 pesos, for the sale of 223 lots. These resources would be for the municipality of Temozón, Yucatan.
At this seventh auction they will fight from glass glasses, to land and luxury cars. The total departure price is 108.5 million pesos.
INDEP is also responsible for the liquidation of companies. For example, one of the disincorporations that is still in force is that of the extinct Light and Force of the Center.
The Social Cabinet of the Presidency is responsible for deciding on what money is spent on by INDEP. It consists of the President, and the holders of the Secretariat of Welfare, Governance, Finance, Education, Health, of the Institute to Return to the People the Stolen, the IMSS, ISSSTE, DIF and the National Commission against Addiction.
Before AMLO there was already an instance that played that role
On May 14, 2019, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the creation of the Institute to Return the Stolen To the People. Throughout his administration he has referred to it as a «institute of recent creation», as he said in his first government report.
But the truth is that the powers of that Institute were actually already performed by the System of Acquisition and Disposal of Goods (SAE) that has been operating for years before, so confirmed by this body in responding to the request for transparency folio 0681200027619.
However, morena lawmakers promoted the name change. On December 10th, the Senate of the Republic approved modifying the name of the Institute of Asset and Asset Administration, formerly the Service of Administration and Disposal of Goods, to «Institute to Return the Stolen to the People. The opinion was adopted with 57 votes in favour, 7 against and 5 abstentions.
Currently, INDEP is a Decentralized Agency of the Federal Public Administration. It is grouped in the sector coordinated by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).
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