Mexico’s AMLO Faces Video Scandal After Second Brother Took Cash
(Bloomberg) -- Mexico’s president denied that his youngest brother took money for his political campaign after a video emerged of an exchange of cash, threatening to pull the anti-graft leader into scandal for a second time in less than a year.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that the video of his brother Martin Jesus taking cash from a local official in 2015 was released by political adversaries to attack him. In the video, which was published by news website Latinus on Thursday night, Martin Jesus reassures the official that the money will make its way to his brother.
This is the second time one of Lopez Obrador’s direct relatives is caught on tape receiving packets of pesos from a local official, putting at risk a reputation he’s created among supporters for fighting corruption. Last year, two videos also released by Latinus showed his older brother, Pio Lopez Obrador, receiving cash from the same official during 2015, an election year.
“The intention is to harm me,” said AMLO, as the president is known, about the release. “This is the usual dirty campaign of my opponents. We’re already used to this.”
Lopez Obrador added that the exchange was a personal deal between the now former official, political operator David Leon, and his brother. Leon tweeted Thursday that it was a loan made from his own savings. The exchange was for 150,000 pesos ($7,540).
“It’s my brother’s,” Martin Jesus Lopez Obrador says in the recording.
Mexico has strict campaign financing laws that limit funding by private sources and require they be disclosed to electoral authorities.
In his Friday’s press briefing, Lopez Obrador said prosecutors will determine if a crime was committed, adding that he has not seen Martin Jesus in five years.
“If there’s any crime on the part of my brother, or whoever, I do not cover up for anyone,” he said.
To date, no charges have been brought against his other brother Pio for the recordings released last year.
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