Mexico’s president acknowledges corruption at food security agency

By Kendal Blust
Published: Thursday, June 29, 2023 - 3:49pm

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Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stands in front of a podium in front of a dark red background during his daily press conference
Gobierno de Mexico
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador admits that there was corruption within Segalmex.

Mexico’s president has made rooting out corruption a central promise of his presidency. But on Thursday, he admitted that a government agency focused on food security has been plagued by fraud.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador created the agency known as Segalmex — which is responsible for managing Mexico’s agricultural markets, such as guaranteeing prices for staple crops, and running its rural development programs.

But the agency has faced multiple accusations of corruption - including embezzlement and organized crime.

After long denying that any corruption was possible under his leadership, López Obrador this week called the case the most scandalous and only case of corruption within his government, and he promised it would be investigated and resolved.

Prosecutors have charged nearly 90 people as part of an ongoing probe into the agency, and officials say preliminary estimates show that employees mismanaged some 9.5 billion pesos, or more than half a billion dollars, in funds.

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