Sunday, December 5

A controversial trip to Guatemala causes the fall of the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico City

Paola Díaz Félix during the press conference in which the Day of the Dead parade was presented on October 31, 2021.
Paola Díaz Félix during the press conference in which the Day of the Dead parade was presented on October 31, 2021.Andrea Murcia (Cuartoscuro)

A trip to Guatemala surrounded by controversy has caused the fall of the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico City. Paola Félix landed on Friday afternoon in a private plane in the Guatemalan capital accompanied by another dozen passengers. In a routine check, customs officers seized $ 35,000 in undeclared cash in one of the suitcases. The facts, surrounded by rumors and assumptions, spread like wildfire due to the lies of Mexican politics. Felix denied on Saturday afternoon that she had been detained and any relationship with the money, but put her position at the disposal of the head of the capital, Claudia Sheinbaum, who confirmed her departure from the Cabinet just an hour later.

For more controversy, the destination of the trip was the wedding between Carla Humphrey, advisor of the electoral body, and Santiago Nieto, director of the Financial Investigations Unit (UIF), behind the most notorious investigations of the Government against corruption. In addition, this weekend the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix is ​​being held, one of the biggest tourist attractions of the year in the capital. Felix’s dismissal was staged with a brief official statement from Sheinbaum: “The principles of Republican Austerity are fundamental for the capital’s government, which is why it reaffirms its commitment to honesty and transparency.”

According to the act drawn up by the Guatemalan authorities, to which EL PAÍS has had access, the owner of the suitcase with the money is Erika Telich, personal assistant to Juan Francisco Ealy Ortiz, executive president and of the Board of the newspaper The universal. The police found seven white envelopes with 50 bills of 100 dollars inside a black bag. The money, which was not declared on the entry forms, was seized for violating the country’s money laundering law. And Telich brought before the Special Prosecutor’s Office for money laundering to “prove the origin of it.”

In his statement to the police, Telich stated that the money is actually from his boss, Juan Francisco Ealy, who was traveling “with his wife and children as well as friends of his.” The assistant to the editor of the newspaper also said that she charged the sum of 35,000 dollars in cash to pay “several appointments with specialist doctors in the United States.” Specifically, in Los Angeles, where they planned to travel on Monday after the weekend wedding.

The prosecution document does not reveal the identity of the passenger challenge. The newspaper Reform The name is given by the theater producer Alex Gou, who was awarded by direct designation the production of the recent Day of the Dead parade for more than 15 million pesos. The fall of Felix occurs shortly after taking office, at the end of September. 34 years old and a lawyer by training, she had previously directed intermediate offices in the field and in 2018 was Morena’s candidate for mayor of Cuajimalpa. Before joining the ruling party, Felix had been a deputy for the Green Party.

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