Involved in Controversy, Mayor Mauricio Trejo Asked for License
By Atención staff
San Miguel Mayor Mauricio Trejo Pureco requested permission from the city council to leave his post for more than two months. The reasons and the length of time he will be away from his duties are not officially clear. His exit was not the most tranquil because last week in national media, a third voice recording was broadcast, linking him and some of his employees with manipulation of information on the death of an American woman.
On Saturday, March 7, as can be seen in a reprint of the announcement from the secretary of the city council, Ramón Medellín, members of the city council were summoned to a meeting at which it was disclosed that one of the members of the city council would take a leave of absence from his position. It did not specify that it was Mayor Trejo who would leave. According to the documents submitted to Atención, just six city councilors attended the meeting: Javier Álvarez Brunel from the PAN party; Ricardo Ferro, Martha Rocío López, Viridiana Rosas, Gustavo Carrillo and María Ortiz from the PRI party; plus José Luis Chagoyán (assistant mayor) and Mayor, until then, Mauricio Trejo. With eight members of the city council, there was a legal quorum for having the city council meeting.
In that meeting, Mayor Mauricio Trejo, who was sworn in on October 9, 2012, asked for a leave of absence, and it was approved with seven votes from the attendees. Mayor Trejo did not vote, having a particular interest. The PRI party, which won the election in 2012, and has the right to propose the interim mayor, proposed José Luis Chagoyán to be the new mayor at that meeting. He did not vote, but the proposal was approved with six votes.
The city council meeting was “private.” All the information handled in it has been classified as “reserved,” and the Public Relations Department just sent a press release stating that Mayor Trejo asked for the leave of absence due to his need to adress topics requiring his total attention—“all of this with the goal of strengthening San Miguel de Allende and continuing to work strongly for the people of this city.”
As we went to press, we tried to get an interview with Trejo, but he was not reachable. We requested an interview with the interim mayor to ask him how this local administration will keep working, but according to the Public Relations Department, “he has a very full agenda.”
The third voice recording
Three days after Mayor Trejo left the local administration, on March 10, during a national TV station program, Punto de Partida, hosted by journalist Denise Maerker, an investigation conducted by reporter Fátima Monterrosa about the increasing of the crime in San Miguel was broadcast.
In the Monterrosa’s presentation, an audio was included in which Trejo allegedly asked his personal assistant, Benjamín Ramírez, to manipulate the news of the death of American Bobbie Marie Nagy, asking him to handle it as a suicide. This was before the Ministerio Público’s investigation. In the recordings, it is audible that Ramírez is yelling at Roberto López, responsible for the Public Relations Department of the local administration, for not knowing how to handle a crisis. This came about because Felipe Cohen, director of the Civil Protection Department, gave information in advance to the members of the press who discovered Nagy’s body and handled the fact as an accident. Apparently, Nagy was struck and beheaded by the train.
The woman’s death occurred on September 17, 2014, at a time when several robberies, aggressions, and murders were happening to members of the foreign community in town.
It is important to mention that since the beginning of this administration, Mayor Trejo did his best to position San Miguel as the best tourist destination, the best place to live, and also the safest city in Latin America, according to his own words. However, the numbers published by the National System of Public Security are proof that house robberies have increased in the city, from 227 (2012) to 298 (2014.)
The Ministerio Público, then headed by René Urrutia, classified the death as a suicide and also informed Atención that, through the American Consulate, a friend of the deceased was located and she assured that Nagy did not have relatives in San Miguel or in the United States. In addition the Ministerio assured that the woman had arranged funeral services in advance.
In the investigation of Punto de Partida, Armando Amaro Vallejo, the current district attorney in San Miguel, assured that the death was a suicide. Nevertheless, an informative document presented by the investigators included a name as the perpetrator of the death, Erick Daniel Olvera Córdoba. On that matter, Vallejo commented that it was an error because “the form had been filled out previously.” Olvera has been in prison since 2013 for murdering a woman.
Despite the district attorney’s assertion, the broadcast recordings placed the focus once again on Nagy’s issue. Atención then contacted the previous district attorney in Region D, René Urrutia, to ask him about the case. Urrutia commented that until he left his post on February 23 of this year, the case was still open. He made it clear that there was no identified perpetrator in this death. He assured that it could have been a suicide because, “We did not get information stating that somebody else participated to provoke the passing, but all the possibilities are open.”
We asked Urrutia if he received a call from Mayor Trejo requesting him as a favor to handling the death as a suicide, and he responded, “Definitely, no. The municipal authorities cannot give instructions to the Ministerio Público or conduct an investigation of the Ministerio Público. I did not have communication with the municipal authority.”
Amaro Vallejo did not grant more interviews, and according his Public Relations Department, he would not give interviews, but there will be a press conference next week.
On the matter, Governor Miguel Márquez Márquez said that both cases, Nagy’s suicide and the information manipulation, should be investigated.
On the other hand, Roberto López, responsible for the Public Relations Department in San Miguel, did grant interviews on the voice recordings that link him with the manipulation of information, and he made it clear: “I am not the aforementioned.” In addition, he said that Benjamín Ramírez was not available for interviews because of health problems, and he did not know when Ramírez would return to work. “It could be in two weeks or more,” he said.