Though the study of two massacres in the states of Coahuila and Tamaulipas called “Abandoned” was made public last Sunday, its author Sergio Aguayo Quezada is facing a libel suit filed by former Coahuila state governor Humberto Moreira for $10 million pesos since last July 16.
The suit took Sergio Aguayo, a political analyst sponsored by think-thank Colegio de Mexico (Colmex), by surprise in July, as it was based on an article published in January when Moreira came to negative prominence (again) after he was arrested and jailed for over a month in Spain, charged with money laundering as he could not explain the “scholarship” money worth $15000 a month he was receiving from Mexico. Moreira would later be exonerated as it was his own money.
“He wanted to intimidate me,” Aguayo said Monday to the Vanguardia newspaper in Saltillo, state of Coahuila.
“Moreira’s action has several dark spots. Why did he choose me when there were many other columnists who said the same? Why is he suing me six months after publication?” said Aguayo.
Briefly, Aguayo said that besides being suspect of a $36 billion peso embezzlement, Moreira was to blame for the massacre carried out in the municipality of Allende, 40 miles south of the Eagle Pass, Texas, border back in 2011, which is one of the two themes fully explored in the study “Abandoned” (“En el desamparo”) and in which Aguayo states that Moreira “was governor at the time.”
In his suit Moreira states that “I want to make it very clear that I was not governor when the lamentable deeds in Allende happened. At the time I was national president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).”
Moreira was right, but given the embezzlement scandal that came upon his mandate as governor of Coahuila as Enrique Peña Nieto was launching his candidacy for president he had to “resign” and drop out of politics and sight as much as possible.
Aguayo later retracted from saying he was governor at the time of the massacre but in the study carried out under his aegis and researched by a myriad of Colmex scholars, the question of how this came to be goes back to the Moreira governorship in which he had a son assassinated by the paramilitary criminal gang called “Los Zetas,” who are also blamed for the San Fernando, Tamaulipas massacre in two separate and different incidents.
In short, Moreira stands accused of allowing the “Los Zetas” gang proliferate in the northern part of the state of Coahuila and of “abandonment” of the population of Allende where anywhere from 40 to 300 people went missing and their homes destroyed before they eyes of an awed population, who for months afterwards refused to talk about the crime.
“There is a total abandonment (by the authorities) both in the case of San Fernando as in Allende, though both with great differences of what was done in Tamaulipas and Coahuila. This work seeks to find a solution for the victims and not just condemn the atrocities that were committed,” Aguayo explained Sunday during the presentation of the study.
Aguayo also admits that the state government of Coahuila did open up a file on the happenings of Allende after the 10-month pro-tempore governorship of Jorge Torres López who last Feb. 8 became one of the most wanted fugitives of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Jorge Torres was Treasury Secretary for Humberto Moreira and is said now to have masterminded the embezzlement Moreira has never legally been accused of even if all fingers point at him.
The question that remains is who allowed “Los Zetas” to control the northern part of Coahuila, who could not have performed without the tacit permission of the governor? Another unanswered question is, did Jorge Torres act on Moreira’s orders?
Aguayo says that the study “Abandoned” aims at protecting the abandoned families of the victims of criminals such as “Los Zetas” but also hopes that municipal, state and federal authorities nationwide do not permit criminal gangs to take over their territories as it is happening in different states of Mexico nowadays.
In the meantime, the suit against Aguayo by Moreira takes its course in the terms Aguayo put it last July when he was notified “it will be long and weary.”