AMLO Says Mexico to Probe Firm Founded by His Chief of Staff

(Bloomberg) -- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico’s Environment Ministry and its federal comptroller will investigate Enerall, a company founded by his chief of staff.

The investigation comes after multiple media outlets simultaneously published a news report on Monday alleging the agro-industrial company drained parts of the Yucatan peninsula of its groundwater.

AMLO Says Mexico to Probe Firm Founded by His Chief of Staff

“No, of course I won’t resign because I have no conflict of interest or environmental problem,” Alfonso Romo said in a press conference on Tuesday when asked about the investigation.

Enerall didn’t respond to a request for comment about the government’s investigation.

Chief-of-Staff Romo left the company in late 2018, but other family members are still in charge of Enerall, according to the news report, published by Aristegui Noticias, Univision, Proceso, #RuidoEnLaRed, Vice and Connectas. Romo confirmed he’s no longer a shareholder in the company at the press conference.

“The Environment Ministry has to investigate. There’s no impunity,” Lopez Obrador said in response to questions about Romo at his daily press conference. “What I can say is that when Alfonso Romo and other public servants enter government, they can’t have links to companies. There’s no problem here with conflicts of interest.”

Enerall was accused of destroying a cenote, a body of fresh water sacred to local Mayan communities, as well as killing local wildlife, according to the news report.

Enerall was fined around $30,000 by environmental prosecutor Profepa for the damage, and the case wasn’t taken to criminal courts, according to the report.

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