The main management positions of the Federation Superior Audit (ASF) are filled by people who participated in the appointment of the current auditor, by former officials of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto and even a former co-editor of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador when he was Head of Government of Mexico City.
The current Federal Auditor, David Colmenares Páramo, took office in April 2018, and in his management was renewed to 9 holders of the 10 key posts in the Audit, who approve the work of the auditors who carry out the reviews to the public money of the Federal Government, determine administrative observations and even integrate criminal complaints in case of possible acts of corruption.
Two days after delivering the Public Account that reviewed the first year of the Government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, for the first time in the history of the Audit, auditor Colmenares retracted the information contained in a report on the Civil Service and, at night, issued a statement in which he argued «inconsistencies» in the audit on the cost of cancellation of The Texcoco airport.
To understand who is at the helm of the teams of auditors who reviewed Enrique Peña Nieto’s spending in the last year of government and who will also have to monitor the current government, Animal Politics reviewed each other’s work experience. These are the most important data found in public sources:
David Colmenares, Federal Auditor: In the public administration he held positions in the administration of the priista, Heladio Ramírez, governor of Oaxaca, as secretary of finance between 1986 and 1992. Between 1995 and 2000, he was Director of Administration and Finance of Liconsa and delegate in Oaxaca de Banobras. From 2000 to 2006 he was head of the Coordination Unit with Federal Finance Entities.
He had a brief stinging as Special Auditor of Federalized Spending at the ASF during the management of former Federal Auditor Juan Manuel Portal, but was fired. «He didn’t work, he didn’t do research well, he was slow and he didn’t follow things up,» Portal said in 2018.
With Arturo Orcí Magaña and Angel José Trinidad Saldívar integrated the terna endorsed by all political forces in the Chamber of Deputies for the position and already in the election in March 2018, with the block vote of the PRI, Morena, PVEM, Nueva Alianza y PES and a sector of the PRD, the PAN and Citizen Movement, Hives added 377 votes.
Among his first decisions was the dismissal of Muna Dora Buchain, who held the general management of Forensic Audit, and the rest of his collaborators. This area investigated cases with suspected commission of a crime and in its management, documented the irregularities that gave rise to the journalistic investigation The Master Scam.
In the first months of the administration of Hives, the Audit forgave the alleged detours committed during the management of Manuel Velasco in Chiapas that had been detected during the management of Juan Manuel Portal. In just two days, he solved an investigation that took months, as Political Animal revealed.
Also, the Audit endorsed the public prosecutor’s office granting an opportunity criterion to the extesorero de Veracruz and former federal deputy of the PRI, Antonio Tarek Abdalá, which allowed him to evade 43 possible fart charges related to the diversion of more than 55 billion pesos in Javier Duarte’s government.
Such legal pardon was irregular, since he was granted without asking for any reparation for the damage and without clarifying the fate of all that money that has so far remains missing. The diversions were revealed by the Audit during the management of Juan Manuel Portal.
Emilio Barriga Delgado, Special Auditor of Federalized Expenditure: In 2002 and until 2007 he was Director of Fiscal Policy in the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Mexico City, when the holder was Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
He has remained in the area ever since. During the administration of Marcelo Ebrard he held the general management of Institutional Liaison. Until becomes Treasurer with Miguel Angel Mancera, in whose management the Local Audit detected irregularities in three units and for which there are arrest warrants.
He left that position in May 2018 and on June 1 of the same year began his position in the Audit, where federal resources that are sent to federal entities are tracked.
Heladio Elías Ramírez Pineda, Director of Legal Affairs: He began his position in the management of Hives in September 2018. Previously he was Director of Institutional Operation and Political Strategy of the Presidency in the administration of Enrique Peña Nieto. He also worksor in the finance secretariat in Oaxaca, with his father, Eladio Ramírez, as governor and Hives as Secretary.
In its post are composed of the criminal complaints that the Audit lodges with the Attorney General’s Office of the Republic (formerly FGR) in cases where the irregularities detected presume the commission of a crime.
Isaac Rojkind, Special Auditor of Monitoring and Research at ASF: Took office on July 16, 2018, three months after starting the management of Hives. He was previously technical secretary of the ASF Surveillance Commission in the Chamber of Deputies.
In that role he covered the process in which Members of that Committee discussed the profiles of candidates to hold the post of Federal Auditor and which determined the turn in which Hives was integrated.
The area he now leads in the Audit was created upon arrival and is responsible for tracking possible irregularities published in the audits. If confirmed, they can reach even criminal complaints and if they are discarded, solvents are made, i.e. they remove the signaling. Among his first actions in office was precisely forgiveness for Velasco’s administration in Chiapas.
Claudia Sofía Corichi García, holder of the Legislative Liaison and Institutional Relations Unit: Before taking office she was deputy for Citizen Movement between 2015 and 2018. As secretary of the ASF Surveillance Commission, she voted for the terna to appoint the new auditor and where Hives, who is now its boss, was elected.
She was honorary president of the DIF de Zacatecas when her mother, Amalia García was governor. According to his successor, Héctor Pastor Alvarado, during his management expenses were made in charge of the DIF for trips, parties, gifts, SPA, fashion shows and billings in local restaurants and other states of the country, although he made no complaints about it, according to local media.
Eber Omar Betanzos Torres, ASF Technical Unit Holder: Assumed this position on April 1, 2019 after leading the Undersecretariat of the Public Service until November 2018 with Arely Gómez as the holder.
He previously occupied the underprocure of human rights of the then PGR, in 2015, where he addressed the case of the disappearance of young people from the rural normal of Ayotzinapa. In 2020 he contested as a magistrate Anti-Corruption, but was not elected.
According to an investigation by the newspaper La Jornada last July he revealed that in two years as undersecretary he eithered 3 million 456 thousand 309 budget for travel on 59 national and international trips.
Gerardo Lozano Dubernard, Special Auditor of Financial Compliance: He contested for the position of Auditor, but was not elected even in the country in which he won Hives.
He took office in May 2018 and his experience was focused on the initiative through his firms Bejar, Galindo, Lozano y Cía, S.C. and Lozano Dubernard y Asociados, S.C.
Lozano claimed «full responsibility» for Buchain’s dismissal because she had incurred «conflict of interest» by being part of the management team of two organizations providing training services to the ASF. However, Proceso revealed that Lozano himself had also gained 26 million pesos for 62 contracts with the public administration obtained by his firm Bejar, Galindo, Lozano and Cía.
Agustín Caso Raphael, Special Performance Auditor: Entered office in May 2018 after consulting. He also holds the Evaluation Information and Culture Development Unit at INEE and Deputy Director-General for Program Outcome Assessment at the Ministry of Finance from 2009 to 2014.
He was the official who signed the communiqué in which the Audit acknowledged that there were «inconsistencies in the quantification made in the context of the audit, so its contents are being thoroughly reviewed, in particular in relation to the methodology used to determine the cost of cancellation of the Texcoco Airport Project».
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