Top Mexican politician named in corruption scandal -- UPDATED subject logo: MEX2013
Posted by: badanov

Updated with a clarification on the ownership of the cell phone obtained by AM.

By Chris Covert

Two top legislative coordinators, Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) senate coordinator Luis Alberto Villarreal Garcia and Partido Revolucinario Institucional (PRI) Chamber of Deputies coordinator Manilo Fabio Beltrones Rivera, have been named as being allegedly involved in a scam to have public resources steered to a Sonora based shell corporation plus demands for a 35 percent "commission", according to Mexican press reports.

As of 1900 hrs CDT, Beltrones Rivera has denied charges that he was one of two "extortionists" identified repeatedly in a news report which appeared Thursday morning in Leon-based news daily.

Beltrones Rivera was quoted in a Notimex wire dispatch which appeared in the online edition of El Siglo de Durango news daily characterizing the news report as "absolutely false" that he demanded management fees in exchange for extra resources steered to a Guanajuato municipality. Beltrones Rivera wrote a letter to the chief executive officer of Reforma news daily, Alejandro Junco de la Vega, saying the report "attempts to discredit" him and other members of the Chamber of Deputies.

According to the report, the municipal president of Celaya, Ismael Perez Ordaz was told in August that an additional MEX $160 million (USD $12,072,800.00) was to be steered to his municipality in the upcoming allotment for road paving provided by the federal government. Luis Alberto Villarreal García apparently believed that Perez Ordaz had accepted his demand for a 35 percent commission and work to be steered to a specific company.

Perez Ordaz had been offered the deal in November 2012, presumably directly by Luis Alberto Villarreal Garcia. November 2012 is significant in that the newly elected Chamber of Deputies and senators were then seated from the election of 2012 which landed PRI back in power.

In August of 2013, Villarreal Garcia sent ten unidentified PAN federal deputies to Celaya to announce the additional resources without saying why Celaya was allocated more than the other 23 municipalities in Guanajuato for the same work.

According to the report when the first tranche of $80 million arrived in October 2013, Perez Ordaz could not decide how to proceed, and apparently he or someone in his office asked Villarreal Garcia for a bigger budget, apparently to justify the transfer, but was rebuffed.

According to an unnamed source in the story, Perez Ordaz could not inflate the value of the work to match the extra resources, or steer work to a sole source, knowing he could face prison time if he did.

The news report makes mention of a November 15th, 2013 meeting between him, David Alfonso Orozco Perez, Perez Ordaz's nephew and municipal clerk and municipal trustee Vicente Caracheo Gomez, and Villarreal Garcia, and hints at messages exchanged between the two parties including Beltrones Rivera.

Presumably before a November 4th meeting with several of his staff and friends, Perez Ordaz was warned about the possibility of prison time if he proceeded with the arrangement, despite apparently repeated communications between his office and Beltrones Rivera and Villarreal García. Despite the warnings, Perez Ordaz conveyed to his staff and others his fears of losing the extra resources, and at that point, decided to send his private secretary, Alejandro Hernandez Arvizu to arrange a meeting. A meeting was to take place between Hernandez Arvizu and a man from Sonora identified as Heriberto Velasquez.

During that time, Perez Ordaz claimed he was not kept apprised of any meetings or negotiations between Hernandez Arvizu and Heriberto Velasquez. But apparently the negotiations did not go well, because a second character from Sonora, identified in the news report as Angel Adan Quintero Abril, appeared in Celaya and intensified his demands for the MEX $56 million, the commission from the extra resources steered to Celaya, and stated he wanted negotiations to end.

Somehow an unidentified reporter for AM got his hands on a cell phone in Celaya city offices which had Quintero Abril's telephone number. The writer called Quintero Abril on the phone, and asked several questions. Quintero Abril denied being in Celaya for anything other than to sightsee, said he knew nothing, and suggested that the writer was trying to extort him.

Unnamed staff in the offices of Celaya apparently told the reporter that Hernandez Arvizu was in constant contact with Quintero Abril by cell phone and by email, and that they had overheard phone calls from Hernandez Arvizu saying he had "already paid". The names of Beltrones Rivera and Villarreal García were mentioned repeatedly in the overheard phone conversations.

The same unnamed sources told the AM writer that they had overheard municipal treasurer Angelica Hernandez Camarena speaking with Hernandez Arvizu, saying that the public works spending cannot be inflated to account for the additional resources, and that the municipality must turn down the resources.

A second meeting then took place, presumably before November 4th, although the report is vague as to the date, while Hernandez Arvizu and Perez Ordaz were both not present, when Quintero Abril met with Angelica Hernandez Camarena, treasury under secretary Rogelio Mosqueda Garcia and head of the treasurer's legal department, Ernestina Flore.

Apparently much subdued, Quintero Abril reduced the demand from 35 percent to 20 percent, but despite his apparent haranguing Angelica Hernandez Camarena refused to make an agreement. After an hour, Alejandro Hernandez arrived and then left with Quintero Abril.

Whatever had been discussed at that last meeting, an agreement appears to have been struck, and legal documents delivered by post arrived via a third man identified as José A. Cabrera Luque, detailing the company to which work was to be steered.

On November 4th Ernestina Flore drew up a contract, and the municipal president Perez Ordaz two months later pleaded with his town council to vote for the contract including the reduced sum of MEX $32 million.

On January 15th an unidentified PAN element in the town council said no, but the acting president of PRI in Celaya, Ruben Guerrero Merino, said yes. A Partido de Revolucionario Democratica (PRD) councilman identified as Marco Gaxiola also said no, but later changed his support if local companies were contracted to do the work.

AM found out that the company, which documents made their way to Celaya, was a shell company based in Sonora. The report fails to indicate any subsequent actions taken to claw back funds.

Beltrones Rivera is originally from Sonora state.

Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for and He can be reached at

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