Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defended one of his sons against accusations of corruption and denied a media claim that the son had exploited his position to help pals land contracts worth millions of dollars.
A story by the Mexican news outlet Latinus last week claimed that Andres Lopez Beltran, the president’s son, had assisted pals in obtaining government contracts for more than 100 million pesos ($5.6 million).
“My children are not corrupt,” Lopez Obrador told a regular government news conference, bringing up the story himself, and saying that the media had published several articles about his children which are “totally false.”
Among contracts won by friends of Lopez Beltran was one to build an ecological park on the site of a partly built Mexico City airport that the government had abandoned, the report said.
Lopez Obrador ditched the airport upon taking office in 2018 on the grounds that it was too costly and tainted by corruption.
It also alleged friends of Lopez Beltran had staged sham competitions by bidding separately for projects using companies with the same owners, partners and addresses.
Lopez Beltran could not immediately be reached for comment.
Lopez Obrador acknowledged family friends had won government contracts, but said they posed no conflicts of interest.
Mexicanos Contra la Corrupcion y la Impunidad, an anti-graft NGO, and Latinus raised questions last year about another son of Lopez Obrador when it reported that he had rented a home with his spouse from an executive of a U.S. oil services firm doing business with state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
Lopez Obrador denied any conflict of interest at the time.