The Narco News Bulletin

"The name of our country is América"

-- Simón Bolívar

Global Alert June 24, 2000

Citibank Implicated in Money Laundering for Fox Campaign

U.S. Interests Are Found Along Illicit Money Route

"Spurious Opposition" Revealed

Special to The Narco News Bulletin by Al Giordano

Vicente Fox, who promised the Mexican people that he would be the alternative to the 71-year rule of the PRI party, has spent mountains of money in this presidential campaign.

The candidate of the National Action Party (PAN) began his campaigning with the group "Amigos of Fox," placing massive amounts of advertising on TV, radio and in newspapers. Then the PAN party officially nominated him, and that party, too, has spent way beyond the public election funds granted for the campaign. Although Mexico's campaign finance reporting requirements are very weak, these basic facts are documented, especially in how much Fox has spent on TV and other advertising.

Reports surfaced from time to time that much of his campaign money came from the very same sources as PRI campaign money: Roberto Hernández of Banamex, Ricardo Salinas Pliego of TV Azteca and other members of the New Mexican Oligarchy, according to multiple news sources, were also behind the Fox campaign.

América has already seen this year one example of "spurious opposition" in Perú, in which Alejandro Toledo, the former World Bank employee who challenged the dictatorial Alberto Fujimori, turned out to be holding secret meetings with the US Ambassador to Perú and -- as reported in our recent editorial -- one of his top campaign consultants has now been exposed as an espionage agent for the government of Spain.

The Narco News Bulletin publishes today's June 22, 2000 edition much later than usual because we wanted to make sure that the facts of this story were nailed down. The allegations are very serious.

We especially felt it important to look more deeply into the allegations regarding Vicente Fox and money laundering because the accusation was first made, and copies of the checks and other documents offered, by officials in Mexico's ruling PRI party. We were not about to plow into this story and spread campaign disinformation without looking into the matter ourselves.

Another factor that gave us pause with this story is that the evidences -- in the form of bank checks and other documents -- could only have been obtained illegally by the ruling PRI party.

At the same time that the Mexican Congress is condemning the round-the-clock effort by computer hackers to open the FOBAPROA bank scandal file -- the legislators use as their excuse the "Secret Banking" laws that exist -- those very same laws were clearly broken in bringing this information about the Fox campaign to light.

Now that these documents and checks have, however, flown into public view, our first question was: Are they real? Did these checks that were laundered internationally in a classic money-laundering route truly exist?

No matter how they were obtained, if these checks are real, the public has a right to know about them that surpasses any right by the wealthy and powerful to hide the truth from the people.

And if the checks are simply invented, false, made-up, the people have a right to know that too.

The confirmation of the key facts came from the most surprising of sources: the very same Vicente Fox.

According to El Universal of June 22, 2000:

Vicente Fox responded to the accusations. He accepted that the checks are real, but assured, "not one centavo has entered from outside the country; they are donations by people, from simple people to professionals and businessowners."

Fox then accused the Mexican federal government of "espionage" against him in their obtaining of the documents.

We conclude that, yes, Fox is correct that he -- and every member of the opposition from political parties to members of Civil Society -- have been victims of illegal spying. The Narco News Bulletin and its publisher, too, have in our possession proofs and evidences that the US State Department and Mexican authorities have done the same with us: Welcome to the club, Mr. Fox. Standing up to the powerful and to the corrupt can be a real drag sometimes.

Unfortunately for Fox -- and this in no way is meant to apologize or make excuses for illegal espionage, which Narco News and its publisher have condemned more forcefully than Mr. Fox has done and over a longer period of time -- if he and his campaign operators had not been violating laws and basic human ethics, the espionage would not have harmed his campaign as it has today.

To be crystal clear, as this case is investigated, those who engaged in illegal espionage must be punished and exposed. And The Narco News Bulletin will not now nor never push that very serious part of this developing story under the rug.

But the fact remains that these documents, which Fox himself says are real, demonstrate:

1. Money-laundering by the Fox campaign in a style that mirrors that of the narco-traffickers.

2. The use of foreign banks -- in violation of Mexican law -- to launder Fox campaign money.

3. Involvement in the dark route of these monies by foreign banking institutions such as Citibank of New York -- already implicated in the Salinas and Hank family money-laundering scandals -- and the Bank of the West, of El Paso, Texas.

4. Also implicated in this international money-laundering route is a company named Dehydration Technologies of Belgium and a transfer of $200,000 US Dollars to a bank account in Puebla, Mexico.

5. Mexican banking and business institutions can also be found on this money-laundering route: BANAMEX, Bancomer, Bital, and TV Azteca, which received around $90,000 US Dollars through this scheme for Fox campaign TV ads, but from other sources than the Fox campaign. All of them are owned by key players in the New Mexican Oligarchy. Not only did they set Fox up to knock him down, but they all made money off the deal.

6. The Fox campaign finance chairman, Lino Korrodi, who was Fox's boss at the Coca-Cola company in Mexico, and his companies K-Beta, Grupo Alta Technología en Impresos, and his company ST-and-K of Mexico.

7. The company Fox Brothers -- "that is not the name of a circus," noted a PRI legislator yesterday when offering these evidences in the Mexican federal House of Deputies -- transfered $33,690 US dollars from Citibank in New York to the "Amigos of Fox" campaign organization and other businesses in this money-laundering pipeline.

One fact that particularly drew our attention at The Narco News Bulletin was the way that certain monies had been broken down into smaller sums and then re-assembled (a classic money-laundering maneuver to avoid official suspicion).

Under US law, all checks and money transfers of $10,000 or more receive greater bank scrutiny and must be reported to federal treasury officials.

Interesting, then, that the first two checks, photocopied below, were each for $8,500 US dollars, even though they came from the same sources and had the same destinations.

The second two checks, for roughly $30,000 US dollars each, were then channeled from these funds to TV Azteca to pay for Fox's ad campaign.

This is a chart from El Universal of June 22, 2000, that we will translate.

It is titled:


"Flow of money coming from outside the country for the campaign of Vicente Fox, according to the PRI"

"Valeria Korridi Ordaz concentrates donations from North American businesses in account #3039579 of the Bank of the West of El Paso, Texas, and transfers those resources to...

"Carlotta Robinson Kauachi, account #50323 of Banco Ixe, Insurgentes Branch in Mexico City, these funds are then transferred to...

"TV Azteca, and other businesses, to cover the costs of the campaign of Vicente Fox."


If everything was transparent and above board, asks The Narco News Bulletin, about these money transfers (in total amounting to $400,000 US Dollars), why was the money moved, as if by ants, in amounts less than $10,000?

Because, Narco News believes based on these documented facts and our own experience investigating drug money laundering that the money coming from the Bank of the West, of El Paso, Texas, was subject to US laws and financial regulations. Had the checks been for amounts of over $10,000, a greater scrutiny would have been applied.

In this dirty money trail we note the same players that have been implicated in the major Mexican drug money laundering cases of recent history: Citibank, BANAMEX, TV Azteca....

The Narco News Bulletin will not speculate tonight on the political implications of this discovery for Vicente Fox or his campaign, or the Mexican election of July 2, 2000.

That is for the Mexican people to decide.

But it is clear that Fox, if these evidences do derail his campaign, will not be the only loser. What of his millions of sincere supporters, especially the young people of Mexico, who, according to polls, supported him in greater numbers, because they saw in Fox a hope for an alternative to the PRI regime?

How do they come to grips with this hammer-blow of information just ten days before the vote?

How can the July 2, 2000 vote possibly be defined as free, fair and transparent, now that it is revealed that the same financial interests -- Citibank, Banamex, TV Azteca, etc... -- implicated in drug money laundering by PRI officials, can now be found along the money laundering trail of Fox and the PAN.

The dirty money trail in which they are found has, with little time left in the campaign -- and perhaps with the complicity of some of them in leaking these documents? -- come at the 11th hour before the July 2nd vote.

And yet Vicente Fox admits that the checks are real.

Fox cannot escape personal responsibility for this money-laundering plot.

Because the company Fox Brothers is implicated in this trail;

Because Fox's campaign finance chairman is implicated;

Because, also, Rito Padilla García, the personal secretary of the Governor of Guanajuato -- a PAN member who substituted Fox -- received 11 checks adding up to $25,000 US dollars as part of this money trail:

For these clear evidences and more, this money-laundering plot involves the central core of Fox and his campaign.

They were spied on. They were set up. But they allowed themselves to be set up by engaging in illicit activity. And now they are paying the high price of deceit.

The Narco News Bulletin investigation of the United States involvement this money-laundering trail has only just begun.

From the beginning of our Mexican election coverage we have demonstrated that United States interests are manipulating the process in Mexico.

What US businesses or political interests participated in Foxgate? Were they licit businesses? Or does the need to launder the money through a sophisticated route of "pulverizations" (dividing the money into small checks but sending them to the same source) indicate the involvement of interests with something more to hide?

Poor Vicente Fox. So far from God. So close to the United States of America.

Because sometimes it takes gringos to expose gringos