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Luis Alberto Villarreal accused of theft

Luis Alberto Villarreal

By Antonio De Jesús

In a recording made public by El Universal, the former Secretary of Finance and Public Credit and now a senator, Ernesto Cordero, accused the sanmiguelense and federal legislator, Luis Alberto Villarreal, and the president of the PAN (National Action Party), Gustavo Madero, of being “thieves.”

On January 10, a transcript of the audio recording was published. In that recording,  Cordero has a conversation with federal legislator Fernando Rodríguez Doval, to whom he says that it is in his hands to remove Villarreal, who is the coordinator of the PAN legislators in the Congress of the Union. Cordero, who wishes to be president of the PAN and did not succeed in his attempt to be his party’s presidential candidate, according to the newspaper, explains to Rodríguez Doval: “You have the possibility of saving the party…you have the possibility of sinking Villarreal and Madero, and doing a great favor for the party. Do not defend him, Fernando, do not defend him.… You all know the great number of … rapillerías [robberies] that they do there. Do not defend him.”

When he says “do not defend him,” he is referring to a publication signed by several federal legislators in support of Villarreal after he was accused of corruption in November 2013. According to an article published in Reforma, a national newspaper, Villarreal, supported by other federal legislators, was requesting a 10-percent commission for helping mayors get federal resources for the construction of public works. One mayor—who asked the newspaper to remain anonymous—explained the modus operandi of the legislators. The extortion, according to Reforma, occurred at the end of 2012, when Villarreal took control of more than 1.15 billion pesos of the federal budget. On this matter, Villarreal told Atención in November of last year that those complaining ought to fill out a criminal complaint at the Ministerio Público, which is the authority in charge of handling such accusations. “The doors of the Ministerio Público are high enough,” he said, “for anyone to enter.”

The transcription from El Universal continues: “These people have abused.… The unity of the party is among equals, among honest people, among colleagues, those who have to be united and not allow all these thieves all that they are doing.… You have a great opportunity, you.… If you remove Villarreal, it is going to be a great favor for the party….”

This conversation was published five days prior to a meeting of the national council of the PAN to decide the regulations to elect their new president and council, which must face the federal elections in 2015. For that reason, Villarreal explained to Radiofórmula that the publication is not a casualty. In addition, he made it clear that the accusations of corruption against him have not been proven and remarked that “it is a very serious topic. I believe and urge to the authorities to use the resources according to the regulations. The country has many shortages, so the resources must be used correctly.”


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