NOGALES, SONORA (March 5, 2022).- An international bribery scheme that funneled nearly $800 million to a dozen countries, snared political leaders and became a key data point driving efforts to curb corruption in Mexican politics is casting its shadow on Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Marco López.
López has been connected to the case after reports that his company while doing work a decade ago with an adviser to former Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto’s campaign, profited from the scheme.
López has not been charged in the multi-pronged investigation. He told The Arizona Republic in a written statement that he and his business did nothing wrong and said he could not have been aware of a bribery scheme that led to charges against others years later.
At least $35,000 was paid to López’s company, Intermestic Partners, in 2012. The payment came to light in 2020 when a Mexican investigative news organization, Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad, published leaked receipts and records that had been given to the Mexican Attorney General’s Office.
The Arizona Agenda, a politics newsletter, was the first to detail López’s involvement this week.
The records obtained by the Agenda and Mexican news organization show the payments to López’s firm went through a Swiss bank account and a company managed by the alleged middleman of the bribery scheme.
That middleman, Emilio Lozoya, later began cooperating with Mexican prosecutors in hopes of reducing his own punishment, according to the Associated Press. Lozoya faces charges he accepted more than $4 million in bribes from Odebrecht, a construction contracting firm based in Brazil.