False documents, photos in the US and crossed accusations: the Cabeza de Vaca case enters the campaign

The case of Francisco García Cabeza de Vaca has entered the electoral campaign. The former governor of Tamaulipas, one of the members of the opposition with whom the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has had the most hostility, has appeared on the political agenda with his chiaroscuros. A statement by the president, in which he admits that an apocryphal document was used to open the judicial investigation against the PAN member, unleashed a new battle of crossed accusations between former rivals who are now fighting to obtain a position in the June 2 elections: the former governor and Santiago Nieto, former head of the Financial Intelligence Unit. That was the last sign that the case had entered the electoral game. The previous one was the controversy over a photo that García Cabeza de Vaca uploaded with the opposition presidential candidate, Xóchitl Gálvez, and that he deleted moments later. The case of the former official generates blisters within the opposition campaign, which does not finish evaluating whether it is convenient for it to have close to a figure accused of organized crime and money laundering, while distancing itself as if the accused did not complete the list of multi-member deputies.

Asked by the press, López Obrador said last Friday that he did not know the details of García Cabeza de Vaca’s case, but he remembered that a false document had been used. “I don’t know if Santiago Nieto or Pablo [Gómez]”They brought me a document in which the United States Government was requesting information, and that is why the investigation had begun in the prosecutor’s office, at a request from the United States Government,” the president began by saying. “And then I learned that the document was apocryphal. As? But I didn’t know more. It caught my attention because, if it was apocryphal, well that is the element, the evidence, for the defense, ‘they are unfairly persecuting me, to the extent that they present this apocryphal document.’ But I haven’t heard from that again,” he added.

The statement was ammunition for the opposition, mainly for the former governor, who has accused on several occasions of suffering political persecution at the hands of the federal government. García Cabeza de Vaca, who has moved to the United States after his problems with the Mexican justice system, celebrated that the president admitted the use of a false document and demanded a political operation to restrict his political aspirations.

The FIU currently led by Gómez denied to this newspaper that it had anything to do with the false document. While Santiago Nieto assured EL PAÍS that the paper is not apocryphal and that the president “does not have to know the details of each of the millions of trials that exist in Mexico.” According to the former head of the UIF, currently a candidate for senator for Morena, these are “two communications from the North American authorities.” One of them is an FBI letter related to the freezing of bank accounts, “which by the way has already been validated by the Seventh District Court of the Judicial Branch of the Federation, based in Reynosa,” he says.

The defense of the former governor, for its part, has described what happened as “very serious.” One of the former official’s lawyers has explained that the court cited by Nieto is incorrect and that what happened dates back to when Nieto was the owner of the UIF. This agency needs a request from a foreign government to be able to freeze accounts, says the criminal lawyer, which is why a document signed in the name of Joseph González was presented. According to the lawyer’s version, the document was never validated by any court.

The one who has emerged marked by his closeness to the case of García Cabeza de Vaca – both figures from the PAN – has been Gálvez, who initially called him to be his coordinator on security issues and then excluded him from the list of his campaign team. A similar threat was seen in recent days on social networks. The former governor uploaded a photo with the presidential candidate when she was on her tour in New York and then deleted it without giving any explanation, according to the portal. White elephant. “The theme of the photo was that it said that there was a work meeting and it really was a meeting, that’s why the conflict was,” Gálvez justified last Friday. “The truth is that we met, we greeted each other and the photo was taken,” he said in an attempt to bury the matter.

García Cabeza de Vaca’s lawyer has explained that the publication on social networks was deleted to “not distract attention from the agenda” that the candidate had in the United States. Gálvez outlined a defense of the former official by assuring in his press conference that the case was used by the Government to “exhibit and pressure the opposition.” But he avoided talking about the campaign’s distancing from this controversial figure, who was elected in January by the PAN leadership for a multi-member deputyship. “He follows a legal process, I understand that he has won many instances, and again he will prove his innocence in the corresponding instances,” added the candidate.

It is not clear what political cost a figure like García Cabeza de Vaca may have in a campaign that is already starting at a disadvantage, according to the polls. What does seem clear at the moment is that this is a risk that Gálvez’s team prefers not to take.

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