“I don’t play like that”: New audios revealed about the ‘Emilio Lozoya case’ open another front for prosecutor Gertz Manero

The controversies around Alejandro Gertz Manero continue to grow. New audios revealed this Thursday show alleged private negotiations between the attorney general and the father of Emilio Lozoya Austin, the former director of Pemex charged with the Odebrecht case, the mega-plot of corruption that has shaken several Latin American countries. In one of the conversations, Gertz directly calls Emilio Lozoya Thalmann, a veteran former PRI politician who has coordinated the legal defense of his son, to reproach him for having filed a series of injunctions with his lawyer. “Let him desist because I don’t play like that,” the Mexican attorney general cries out angrily. The date of the conversation, revealed anonymously on social networks, is not known, but the context may fit in the almost two years of negotiations between the Prosecutor’s Office and Lozoya to benefit from a figure similar to that of the protected collaborating witness.

The audios of this Thursday also include two other alleged conversations between the father of the former Pemex director and Deputy Attorney General Juan Ramos, Gertz’s right-hand man. In them, Ramos is heard giving Lozoya Thalmann instructions on what documents to bring to a court hearing. The deputy attorney mentions a person, “her”, who will take the documents “directly to court”. And he adds: “Not us, because if she doesn’t, it will seem that we are her defender”. The audios again sow doubt about the attorney general and his team, involved in numerous controversies on suspicion of personal use of the public ministry and with explicit allegations of influence peddling.

The strongest episode has been the open war against the former advisor to the presidency, Julio Scherer, which has shaken the upper echelons of Mexican power in recent months. After some initial exchanges of accusations in the press, Scherer has even gone so far as to file a lawsuit against Gertz for influence peddling, coalition of public servants and criminal association. The former adviser to the presidency and López Obrador’s right arm until his departure from the Cabinet last year, accuses the prosecutor of putting together a “perverse plot” against him motivated by personal revenge. After years of good relationship, the breakup occurs in the context of the lawsuit against the prosecutor’s in-laws, one of the many disputes opened by Gertz, which recently resulted in another setback for the Prosecutor’s Office, seeing how the case was also finally dismissed the Supreme Court of Justice.

The revelation of anonymous audios about Gertz is not new. In the framework of the case about his political family, a YouTube account published in March a conversation between the Prosecutor and his right-hand man. In the audio of the call, Gertz criticized the project of one of the Thursdays of the highest Mexican court that was unfavorable to his interests. The Regional Control prosecutor, Germán Castillo, confirmed days after the leak that the spying on his boss occurred through his home phone. Castillo added that the wiretapping of Gertz could cover a longer period of time than the calls disclosed in March.

The accusations of favorable treatment towards Lozoya by the Prosecutor’s Office are not new either. Scherer’s complaint states that the former director of Pemex, arrested two years ago but preventively imprisoned only since November, had until then experienced privileged confinement and favored treatment by the Attorney General of the Republic. Scherar’s complaint reviews the cataract of controversies that surround Gertz. The lawsuits with the Universidad de las Américas de Puebla for intellectual property rights, the permanent conflict with Santiago Nieto, former director of the Financial Intelligence Unit or the case against a group of lawyers close to Scherer himself and that the Justice definitively overturned the last May.

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