Large Companies in Mexico for the Pockets of a Few

"Can there be anything more despicable than robbing sick people?"

Pemex, es una empresa productiva del estado mexicano.
Pemex, es una empresa productiva del estado mexicano.
Foto: Getty Images

MEXICO.- One day there was no gloves and although the day-to-day had shouted for a long time that corruption paced the cardiology hospital of the 21 Century Medical Center in Mexico City and the most obvious symptom was the lack of medicine to help patients, the lack of a rudimentary instrument of work irked nurse Rafael Soto.

“Can there be anything more despicable than robbing sick people?”

Thus, he began a campaign of marches and protests done by employees of the hospital incorporated to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) to put on blast the director Moises Calderon until they got him disqualified in one of the few successful cases of corruption within public hospitals.

The Superior Audit of the Federation (ASF) documented that Calderon had diverted resources by about five million dollars to private accounts although nonconformists believe it was 50 times more: the theft within government enterprises is big.

It is done through fraud, detours and millionaires bribes because, although the institution operates in the red for overruns, bad management and theft, money keeps coming again and again from the public treasury.

Only with constant losses the IMSS could accumulate a deficit of 20 billion dollars; Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) a debt of 86,000 million dollars and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has a financial hole of 3,500 million dollars.

“The problem is that there are major scandals in Mexico without that means coming to a legal process,” says Ernesto Gomez, from the Citizen Audit Office and the initiative Me Against Corruption.

Electric Power in the Crosshair

Officials reported by the ASF and unpunished cases as Nestor Felix Moreno Dias, climbed in bureaucracy, repeating the same practices.

Moreno Diaz was disqualified in 1998 by the CFE for the scandal of directly awarding one company, Technich; however, for unknown reasons he remained in the he public service as deputy director of generation and chief operating next to the former company director Alfredo Elias Ayub.

He was not the target of a serious legal process until the US government put him in the crosshairs. The official was accused of illicit enrichment for alleged bribes from the Texas Company ABB which he awarded contracts in exchange for personal millionaire benefits.

According to accounts tracked by US authorities, his salary would have not allowed him to live the kind of life he had with a Ferrari, private yachts and shopping in luxury stores in the US, as it was recorded in his American Express card.

Also in PEMEX

The ASF detected irregularities, between 2003 and 2012, in the state oil company Pemex for about 11,700 million dollars just for over quotes of bad quality jobs and fraud contractors.

The auditors of the public funds reported 274 recommendations against the Mexican oil company of which, according to their reports, only in three cases some smaller civil employees were dismissed even though the scandals have been greater.

In 2010 Maritime Operations officials hired a company to move a platform from Emirates but it was already in Mexico!

But the most serious case in the last years is the purchase made by PEMEX (with Emilio Lozoya, the director recently replaced) of fertilizer plants that lost tons of money, “It would be necessary to wonder who got benefit from that purchase”, said the political analyst Leo Zuckerman , from the College of Mexico.

Lozoya’s administration is one of the most questioned for alleged millions in commissions he required companies to enter bids or even to make an appointment with the boss.