Mexico president casts video of brother taking cash as political smear

MEXICO CITY – (WARSOOR) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday shrugged off a video showing one of his younger brothers receiving cash from a political operator, saying it was part of a smear campaign by adversaries to discredit him.

The video, the second within a year to feature a brother of the president taking money from the political operative, sparked fresh criticism of Lopez Obrador from Mexico’s opposition, which he has routinely depicted as steeped in corruption.

Released by Mexican news outlet Latinus, the video apparently made in 2015 shows a man who later formed part of the Lopez Obrador administration handing Martin Jesus Lopez Obrador an envelope stuffed with a large stack of bills.

“I think the intention is to do damage to me, or to try to damage me,” the president told a news conference. “It’s the perennial black campaign of my adversaries. We’re used to this. But we have always emerged unscathed from slander.”

He said he would not cover up for anyone, and that authorities should investigate whether any crime had been committed and punish any wrongdoing.

“But my conscience is clear,” added Lopez Obrador.

The man filmed giving his brother the cash was David Leon, who Lopez Obrador named head of Mexico’s civil protection agency after assuming the presidency in December 2018.

Leon stepped down from the government last August after a separate video was leaked of him handing money in 2015 to another brother of Lopez Obrador. On that occasion, the president described the cash as contributions from supporters.


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