Mexico president defends son after report alleging corruption
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday defended one of his sons against corruption allegations, rejecting a media report that his son had used his position to help friends win millions of dollars worth of contracts.
This week Mexican news outlet Latinus published a report alleging that Andres Lopez Beltran, a son of the president, had helped friends snare public contracts worth over 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.
(Reporting by Valentine Hilaire and Raul Cortes Fernandez; Editing by Josie Kao)