The city of Puebla, far from political projects and close to the dispute between business groups

The state capital is disputed by two characters who until before the current electoral process were on the same side: José Chedraui Budib (Morena), beneficiary of Fobaproa, and Mario Riestra Piña (PAN), operator for the privatization of water.

La ciudad de Puebla, lejos de proyectos políticos y cerca de la disputa de grupos empresariales

Operate to privatize

His opponent Mario Riestra, standard bearer of the alliance formed by PAN, PRI, PRD and the state party Social Pact of Integration (PSI), was the leader of the state Congress from 2011 to 2014, when Moreno Valle reformed laws that paved the way for privatization of the drinking water service of Puebla capital and four surrounding municipalities, which has caused serious social unrest in recent years.

Riestra worked for the approval of reforms that allowed the extinct Moreno Valle to sign public-private association contracts to build the Baroque Museum, the Comprehensive Services Center and the platform for the installation of the Audi assembly company, which left a public debt of more of eight billion pesos that will be paid until 2039.

Riestra’s wife, Patricia Vázquez del Mercado, chairs Mexicanos Primero Visión 2030, a civil organization founded by businessman Claudio fiscal.

González was in Puebla on April 22 to support the campaign of Riestra and the candidate for governor of Mejor Rumbo para Puebla, Eduardo Rivera Pérez.

In Puebla political circles it is stated that Xóchitl Gálvez preferred Chedraui for the candidacy.

In 2018, both Chedraui and Riestra supported the campaign of PAN member Martha Erika Alonso Hidalgo, who died along with her husband, former governor and senator Moreno Valle, when the helicopter that had just taken flight from Chedraui’s house crashed, although the log The flight record indicated that it had taken off from the Las Animas heliport.

Less than a year ago, on June 21, 2023, Chedraui and Riestra were photographed in a frank embrace by local media, in the context of the PAN member’s second report as a federal deputy.

The environmentalist and social activist Gerardo Pérez Muñoz maintains that, although they are nominated by parties that are assumed to be antagonistic, there are more similarities than differences between the two. What is at stake in the votes, he assures, are not different government proposals or projects, but the business and political groups that will come with them.

Chedraui is considered part of the Puebla business elites; He is close to the Atlacomulco group and has even been a financier of the campaigns of Enrique Peña Nieto and José Antonio Meade, while Riestra is part of a family that has always been in politics and public service.

The textile manufacturer has managed to bring together the entity’s wealthiest businessmen around the 4T, such as Gilberto Marín Quintero (Grupo Iler), Alberto Kuri Chedraui (Grupo Apolo Textil), Julián Ventosa Aguilera (Grupo JV), José Cernicchiaro Maimone (Italpasta ) and Gabriel Posada Cueto (Grupo Proyecta), among others.

From Fobaproa to the 4T

In appendix III of the book From Fobaproa to IPAB, Testimonies, analysis and proposal (edited in 2000 by Plaza y Valdés Editores, with collaboration, among others, of the current national leader of Morena, Mario Delgado), there are the surnames Chedraui Alam and Chedraui Budif (sic) as beneficiaries of the portfolio purchased by Fobaproa until 1996.

In the list, which according to a note at the bottom was authorized by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Chedraui Alam, father of the Morena candidate (who died in 2013), was rescued from a credit of 177.4 million pesos, which by July 1998 had already been amounted to 251 million.

Chedraui Budib appears with a portfolio of 159.3 million pesos acquired by Fobaproa; two years later there were 225 million. Thus, at 1998 values, between the two they totaled 476 million pesos in credits that went from private to public.

The 56-year-old former PRI member, who has degrees in Law and Public Administration from the University of the Americas Puebla (UDLAP), presents radio capsules called “Casos de Exito” and has a foundation with which he donates medicines, wheelchairs , prostheses, rehabilitations and therapies, mainly. He was a sponsor of the “Lobos BUAP” and “Pericos” sports teams.

Since his name began to be heard as a possible candidate for Morena, published notes on labor conflicts and scandals in which companies of which he is or were a partner were involved.

The Chedraui were owners of the Chemtex, Politex and Acrimex textile companies, whose workers in 2005 went on several strikes because they stopped paying their salaries.

On February 10, 2010, reporter Javier Puga, from La Jornada de Oriente, published a chronicle in which he describes the hardships experienced by 167 Acrimex workers for more than four and a half years, who kept guarding the machinery in search of to obtain a settlement. Although they won an award in 2008 that forced the Chedrauis to pay lost wages, benefits and pensions, until that date they had not obtained a single peso.

The people of Puebla witnessed that, during those years, the workers had to resort to boating among passers-by to get some money and continue their fight. As the years passed, the labor conflict was abandoned by the authorities. A few workers settled less than what they were entitled to, while others died or gave up.

Meanwhile, the family maintained its lifestyle and its closeness to the political class. That same 2010, when there were only five months left until the end of the six-year term, Mario Marín sent the local Congress a decree initiative to donate 1.5 hectares near the Huejotzingo airport for consideration in favor of the company Inmobimax, owned by Chedraui Budib.

The operation was considered as a payment of bills to that family, for the contributions they made to the Marín campaign, since the price of the land was agreed upon at a third of its commercial value, in addition to the fact that there was no public interest, since It was intended to build a shopping center and a hotel.

In a review of these textile companies in the Public Registry of Commerce, it can be confirmed that the companies Chemtex and Politex had multiple embargoes between 1992 and 2006 for non-compliance with payments to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the Tax Administration Service (SAT). . In the case of Chemtex, the embargoes were for almost 55 million pesos, while Politex has entries from the SAT and IMSS that exceed 795 million pesos.

In contrast, the Chedrauis taxed those two companies in those years to obtain credits for 27 million dollars and 115 million pesos. In 2007, the National Bank of Mexico assigned to the Corporate Society for the Resolution of Assets and Property, a firm dedicated to the recovery of overdue loans, the collection of more than 20.3 million dollars owed by Chemtex.

However, in 2015, the land where Acrimex was located on Ignacio Zaragoza Avenue, which the workers guarded years ago, were contributed along with others to Fibra Danhos for the construction of the Parque Puebla shopping center. According to information from the Mexican Stock Exchange, Chedraui Budib and other sellers of the property obtained 450 million pesos in stock certificates as payment to become shareholders of that shopping plaza.
Another public accusation against the current Morena candidate was posted on the page, sponsored by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) of the United States and Canada.

On June 15, 2016, Mickey Kasparian, president of that union’s Section 135, asked the San Diego County recorder to investigate an apparently fraudulent real estate transaction involving Chedraui Budib.

According to a deed presented on that page, José Chedraui Alam and his wife allegedly appeared before a San Diego notary on July 11, 2014 and signed the donation of a property located at number 1750 Avenida del Mundo, Coronado, California, 92118, in favor of José Chedraui.

But Chedraui Alam had died in February 2013, so he could not go before a notary when he had already been dead for more than a year.

The Riestras

Mario Riestra Venegas, father of the current mayoral candidate, was Secretary of Economic Development in the six-year term of Manuel Bartlett Díaz, coordinator of advisors in the government of Melquiades Morales and high commissioner for the Attention to Migrants in the United States in the Marinista administration.

Mario and his brothers Rodrigo and Susana joined the PAN with Rafael Moreno Valle, but his origins are PRI. Now they are operators in their campaign. 42 years old, Riestra has a degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE), as well as a master’s degree in Economics and Government from the Anáhuac University.

In addition to being a local deputy, he was secretary of the city council in the administration of Antonio Gali Fayad, who, by the way, now supports Chedraui.

In 2018 he was a candidate for the Senate, but did not win. In 2021 he was elected federal deputy.

Rodrigo Riestra Piña was Secretary of Rural Development during the Moreno Valle administration, when a scandal arose over the purchase of 10,000 motocultors in which 1,117 million pesos were invested, which represented a cost overrun of more than 200%, since That type of tool was priced at 32 thousand pesos at most.

Furthermore, the motocultors were not suitable for the Puebla countryside and ended up being useless objects that were sold as scrap metal.

Patricia Vázquez del Mercado, Riestra’s wife, was Secretary of State Education during the Morenovallista administration.

The information portal Datamos revealed, based on public information requests, the contracting with invoice companies in the period in which Vázquez del Mercado was in charge of the SEP. The agency signed 65 direct award contracts for 81 million pesos with companies investigated by the SAT for carrying out non-existent operations.

In 2019, Melitón Lozano, then head of the SEP, reported that the Ministry of Public Administration (SFP) had opened an investigation into the alleged hiring of shell companies by that agency in previous administrations, but to date no investigation has been made. know more about the subject.

Source: proceso