The senator of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Sylvana Beltrones Sánchez, the only daughter of the one who was until 2016 president of the tricolor formation and one of the most influential figures in Mexican politics, Manlio Fabio Beltrones, deposited in the Banca Privada d’Andorra ( BPA) 10.4 million dollars between 2009 and 2010, according to an investigation by EL PAÍS.
The entry was registered when Beltrones Sánchez was 26 years old, he did not hold any public office and his father was the powerful coordinator of the PRI members in the Senate.
The Attorney General of Mexico investigates Manlio Fabio Beltrones ; to your daughter; and his wife, Sylvia Sánchez, for alleged irregularities related to hidden accounts of the latter two in a bank in Andorra. Luis Alejandro Capdevielle, lawyer, editor and substitute federal deputy in 2012 for Beltrones Sr., is also the subject of investigations by the public prosecutor’s office.
Senator Beltrones, now 38 years old and a PRI representative for Sonora, was linked to two accounts in the aforementioned entity in Andorra, a country shielded until 2017 by banking secrecy. Together with her, her mother opened two other accounts in the BPA between 2008 and 2009 – one in her name and another with the highest level of privacy, numbered – that did not have movements.
The parliamentarian’s mother told the BPA that her intention was to deposit in this financial institution 2.8 million dollars from the alleged sale of two apartments in Miami.
The former president of the PRI downplays the importance of the investigations. “I have more than 40 years of privilege to serve publicly. When you are in politics it is inevitable that you are investigated. I have been through various investigations. No problem.
I have left them with my head held high. It does not worry me. Every time a government starts a political fight, there is an investigation. It will not be the first or the last time that a politician has been investigated, ”Manlio Fabio Beltrones said by phone.
The former tricolor leader indicates that he has not been notified of this investigation by the prosecution, whose inquiries are secret. “They are facts that have already been investigated and filed previously and will conclude the same,” predicts Manlio Fabio Beltrones.
In July 2015, the Andorran judge Canòlich Mingorance charged the senator, her mother and the former president of the PRI with an alleged crime of money laundering within the framework of a case known as Operation Sonora, in reference to the Mexican state of which he was governor Manlio Fabio Beltrones between 1991 and 1997 and of which his daughter is a representative in the Upper House.
The magistrate seized the accounts of the senator and her mother. Despite the seriousness of the events, the case remained hidden from public opinion.
The investigation in Andorra was provisionally shelved on October 18, 2018 after the Mexican prosecutor’s office, then known as the Attorney General’s Office (PGR), prepared a report on the non-exercise of criminal action (neap) on those investigated. The document argued that Sylvana Beltrones and Capdevielle’s tax offense had prescribed.
During the mandate of former PRI president Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), the prosecution used the neap strategy to achieve the provisional dismissal of several cases opened in Andorra against personalities close to the PRI, such as Peña Nieto’s lawyer, Juan Ramón Collado , which moved 120 million dollars in the Principality.
The ruse consisted of opening an investigation in Mexico that validated the origin of the money and then submitting a report to the Andorran courts and forcing its judges to archive the investigation. The Andorran Penal Code does not contemplate sentencing for money laundering if there is no preceding offense.
After the filing of this case in Andorra, the Mexican prosecutor’s office, already under the mandate of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, opened an investigation for alleged irregularities against the three members of the Beltrones family and Luis Alejandro Capdevielle, lawyer, editor and alternate federal deputy in 2012 by Manlio Fabio Beltrones, as confirmed by sources from the prosecution and the editor acknowledges this newspaper.
“The new investigation consists of determining once again the legality of the resources deposited in Andorra. And they are investigating the same people, the Beltrones family and me, for the same facts. Fundamental rights are being violated. This is a tried and resolved case. Everything was already clarified “, indicates Capdevielle.
One of the first steps taken by the Mexican prosecutor’s office was to request the Andorran judge for the accounts of Sylvana Beltrones, her mother and Capdevielle by sending a rogatory commission [judicial collaboration procedure between countries].
In an attempt to prevent this, Capdevielle filed a petition for amparo before a Mexican judge who partially accepted his request, alleging that the facts had already been tried and archived. The magistrate then suspended the request for information from Andorra, but determined that the prosecution’s investigation could continue. In the coming months he will hold a hearing in which he will have to pronounce on the legality of the investigations of the public prosecutor’s office.
The documentation to which this newspaper has had access reveals that Senator Beltrones entered between 2009 and 2010 a total of 10.4 million in Andorra, a country shielded then by bank secrecy. And that he appeared as the owner of a personal account in the BPA between 2009 and 2011.
Also, that he was linked to another account as a proxy until 2015 in which the owner was Capdevielle, who remained accused in the Andorran court case until his file in 2018.
Capdevielle transferred 9 million dollars to the senator’s BPA account on December 30, 2009. The money came a week after the publisher collected 10 million dollars from the Andorran bank from Videoserpel LTD, a firm in Zug (Switzerland) that managed the rights to programs and brands assigned by Grupo Televisa. Videoserpel LTD, now inactive, merged with Mexvisa LTD, a Swiss subsidiary of the same Mexican television conglomerate created in 2001.
Capdevielle, who between 2003 and 2007 presided over the Association of Newspaper, Newspaper and Magazine Editors of the Mexican Republic (AEDIRMEX), maintains that the money came from the sale to Televisa for 10 million dollars of the brand of the publication Notice of occasion , a classified section where cars and properties were sold.
The lawyer of Mexvisa, a Swiss company of Televisa, defended before the judge that the purchase for 10 million dollars of Notice of occasion was real. “It was acquired from the legitimate owner with the registration of the sale in the public registry,” he said. Jordi Segura Cobo, lawyer in Andorra for two executives of the Televisa Group who remained under investigation in the case until its filing in 2018, has declined to answer the questions of this newspaper.
At the time, the Andorran judge in the case placed the payment of the Grupo Televisa subsidiary to Capdevielle as an alleged commission to Manlio Fabio Beltrones in compensation for the so-called Televisa Law , a rule approved unanimously in 2006 (three years before the payments ) and that it introduced important modifications to the Federal Law of Radio Television and the Federal Law of Telecommunications.
A spokesperson for the aforementioned company rejects that the 2006 television law reform “entailed any benefit in favor of Televisa or any other broadcasting company.”
Senator Sylvana Beltrones also denies this and tells this newspaper that she opened her BPA account in 2009 to collect money owed to her by the publisher after the dissolution of the Habica home goods store that she managed with him in Mexico City.
And he adds that nine million dollars entered the Pyrenean country in 2009 because Capdevielle “asked” him to guard his funds when he was immersed in a divorce lawsuit. The parliamentarian rejects that her millionaire Andorran accounts have to do with alleged efforts by her father.
Manlio Fabio Beltrones also rejects that Televisa’s payment to Capdevielle had to do with the change of the law. “It is ridiculous and false that it could have been done. We did not have a majority in Congress. In addition, I have had moments of friction with the televisions when we reformed the electoral law and took away the right to sell advertising to the parties. That was a major reform that cost us very expensive, “adds the former PRI leader.
Born in Villa Juárez (Sonora), Manlio Fabio Beltrones happens to be one of the most influential figures in Mexican politics in the last four decades. A 68-year-old economist, Beltrones has touched all the keys to power. He was a deputy, senator, governor of Sonora, president of the Board of Deputies and the Senate. In 2011, he presented and withdrew his presidential candidacy in front of an emerging Enrique Peña Nieto, then governor of the State of Mexico.
The weight of Manlio Fabio Beltrones has been especially noticeable in Congress. As the leader of the PRI in both chambers, he was the great shadow operator that facilitated the transit of the initiatives and who built agreements that allowed the majority.
From December 2012 to mid-2015, he was essential as head of the bench to successfully carry out the ambitious reform program promoted by the Government of Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), including the energy reform.
In August of that year, he became president of the PRI, a party that suffered at the polls due to the unpopularity of the president and punctuated by several corruption scandals. The formation lost in June 2016 in the midterm elections of June 7 of the 12 governorships at stake, four of them in States that it had always governed.
Since his fall, he moved away from the main stages of politics. His last controversy dates back to 2017, when his former deputy in the PRI presidency, Alejandro Gutiérrez, was arrested for belonging to an alleged plot that diverted 12.6 million dollars through local governments to favor training in the 2016 local elections. Beltrones then defended his former collaborator and rejected the existence of the alleged illegal financing scheme .
In front of the father’s separation, the figure of his daughter has been gaining presence. A lawyer from the Universidad Iberoamericana, a private center in Mexico City, she began her political career in March 2010 as coordinator of Strategy and Dissemination programs in the general secretariat of the PRI, in the hands of Jesús Murillo Karam at that time.
Since then, Beltrones Sánchez began to climb positions. First within the party until in 2015 she became a deputy for the State of Sonora, which her father ruled between 1991 and 1997. The legislator did not arrive in Congress by popular vote but by plurinominal means, a proportional representation system that grants deputies to the different parties depending on the votes added in the contest.
In the legislature, Beltrones Sánchez had a marked predilection for social issues. He presented reforms to regulate assisted reproduction, protect imprisoned mothers, and eliminate single-use plastics.
In February 2018, he asked to step down from office to begin his path to the Senate. In the elections of that year, her party was overwhelmed in the State, but she became a senator because she was the first minority.