Mexico sanctions ex-Finance Minister Luis Videgaray

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Mexico sanctions ex-Finance Minister Luis Videgaray

Mexico President Luis Videgaray gives a speech to senators during a plenary session of Mexico's Senate in Mexico City, Mexico on October 9, 2018. Henry Romero is the ReUTERS of Henry Romero

For 10 years, Mexican government officials announced today that the former cabinet minister Luis Videgaray had been suspended for not properly divulging his assets while in office.

The public administration minister said it applied the maximum possible sanction against Videgaray for making incorrect declarations for three years running during his time as Finance Minister and later as Foreign Minister.

Videgaray, who was widely viewed as the most influential minister under the last President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Videgaray has consistently rejected any accusations of wrongdoing against him.

On Tuesday, the SFP said it opened an investigation into Videgaray over his possible involvement in the 2014 buy by the state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos of a fertilizer plant known as AgroNitrogenados, which later caused a scandal.

Asked about his role in scandals in Pemex, including findings relating to Mexico, Videgaray said that he had made good things and done mistakes as a policymaker but that he stood by his track record.

Videgaray was notified of the sanction on May 11 but the news was not made public until now because of the mid-term elections campaign, which was held on Sunday, according to the SFP.

Mexico's government says the plant deal used millions of dollars in public money and was tainted by corruption.

The acquisition of AgroNitrogenados is part of a broader investigation from federal prosecutor into alleged corruption under the Pena Nieto administration.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador alleges that the previous administration planned to bring about the break up of Pemex in order to benefit private interests.

The SFP said the sanction handed down to Videgaray was independent of any other investigations that could be run.

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