The PAN’s candidate for the Chihuahua government, María Eugenia Campos Galván, is also investigated by the Chihuahua Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly taking bribes and favors from suppliers of her government as mayor of the Chihuahua capital.
This is an investigation other than the so-called «secret payroll», in which Campos Galván is accused of receiving millionaire bribes from former governor César Duarte when she served as pan’s deputy coordinator at the local Congress, prior to her time as mayor.
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Now, the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Corruption points her out as bribery and misuse of powers and powers in the investigative folder 19-2020-17757.
The licensed mayor, commonly known as Maru Campos, would have received monthly payments of more than 1.3 million pesos from contractor companies in chihuahua City Council between 2017 and 2018, in accordance with the investigation by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
In addition, during the same period, he used a credit card belonging to a company in order to cover, month by month, personal expenses. The card was used in several cities in Mexico and the United States, Italy and France; the sum of charges attributed to the panista candidate is around 1 million pesos.
The indictment is part of criminal case 3022/2020. This Friday, March 5, the initial process-linking hearing was scheduled, which Campos Galván’s defense has already succeeded in deferring twice through judicial suspensions, in a legal strategy similar to that in the case of «secret payroll».
In response to a request from this medium, a spokesman for the mayor acknowledged that the mayor has been the victim of a media «lynching» by the Pre-Hearing Prosecutor’s Office; she noted that the panist candidate has nothing to hide and that she is confident that there is no evidence to support the accusations against her.
«Accusations are being made, a lynching is being made, not right now, he has been accused for months, he is being victimized, without having formally pointed out the allegations,» said Arturo García Portillo, coordinator of the Maru Campos campaign.
«The mayor knows perfectly well, and that’s what she’s said over and over again, that she has nothing to hide from her, so she competed in an intern (of the PAN), so she’s a candidate, because she has absolutely nothing to hide.»
Links between competitors
The complaint of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office is based on witness statements and irregularities in procurement detected by the State Superior Audit in public account 2018.
Ministerial investigations indicate that Campos Galván ordered the award of contracts for the cleaning and maintenance of camels, parks and municipal gardens to five companies that, according to the Audit, were linked to each other and simulated competition in the bidding processes.
The suppliers involved are Edificación y Construcción P&G S.A. de C.V., Gesam Soporte Integral S.A. de C.V., Asesoría Alta Gestión Preser S.A. de C.V., Asesores y Consultores SAC S.A. de C.V. and Praga Planeación y Edificación S.A. de C.V.
In 2018, three of these companies obtained contracts of 5 million 308 thousand 815 pesos without VAT from the municipality. The previous year, in the 2017 financial year, the other companies in the group won awards of 7 million 884 thousand 331 pesos.
Collaborating witnesses declared to the Prosecutor’s Office that Maru Campos charged, month by month, a «tithe» amounting to 788 thousand 433 pesos in the first year and 530 thousand 881 pesos the next. The overall sum was 1 million 319 thousand 314 pesos, that is, 10% of the amounts of contracts without VAT.
During these two years, contractors additionally paid bribes for 1 million,439,321 pesos, which were distributed among three other former campos Galván alcolaboradres who participated in the rigged tenders.
This is Luis Orlando Villalobos Seáñez, who was director of the Municipal Institute of Physical Culture and Sport in the City Council and who was deputy president of the Attorney General’s Office (Prodecon) in Chihuahua during the six-year period of César Duarte.
Félix Arturo Martínez Adriano, former Director of Urban Maintenance of the Municipality («City Manager») and member of the Procurement Committee, and Luis Carlos Piñón Balderrama, who was coordinator of Administration at that Urban Maintenance Directorate, where he was subordinate to Martínez Adriano, are also noted.
The indictment notes that these officials, prior to the tenders for the 2017 and 2018 financial years, provided inside information to the emdams – through their intermediary, identified as Miguel Alfredo Aragón Reta – so that they could meet the technical and economic requirements and thus secure the awards.
After participating in the corruption and bribery scheme, the three former municipal staff members took the «opportunity criterion» and are now co-deputys of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, to which they have made statements against Campos Galván. One of them, Félix Martínez Adriano (the former «City Manager»), is even already a candidate for governor of the Chihuahua City Council on the form of the banner of the PAN that aspires to succeed Maru Campos, Marco Bonilla.
According to the information gathered, the operator of the negotiations within the municipality was Orlando Villalobos, who dealt directly with the broker of the five beneficiary companies, Aragon Reta, a priista who was a candidate for regidor in 2016.
In addition to the intermediary, the companies shared the same accountant, Kenya Ochoa Venzor, wife of José Luis Prieto Olivas, who during the hiring period was an official of the Secretariat of State Economy, according to the report of the 2018 Public Account prepared by the State Audit.
The audit body also found that the companies matched some names of their owners, shareholders and workers registered with IMSS.
Read more: Chihuahua has selaught 583 mdp in César Duarte’s property, vehicles and network actions
Payment of favors
The indegatory notes that, once the Chihuahua City Council benefited the business group with the contracts in 2017, as a payment of favors, the broker Miguel Alfredo Aragón Reta provided Campos Galván with a credit card that the mayor used to cover his personal expenses, which would configure the crime of bribery.
The account was opened at BBVA bank on behalf of the company Imagen Logística Empresarial S.A. de C.V. Collaborating Witnesses declared to the Public Prosecutor’s Office that the then official wanted to have a source of income that could not be linked to it.
However, the Prosecutor’s Office accessed bank statements and purchase receipts that were signed by both Campos Galván and those close to it.
Thus, charges were detected between March 2017 and October 2018 – during her management as a civil service – for the payment of restaurants, clothing, furniture and jewellery worth approximately 1 million pesos.
The card was used in Chihuahua, Monterrey and the CDMX, as well as in cities in the United States, Italy and France, according to the indictment.
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