Ex-Pemex chief agrees to be extradited to Mexico

Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero said that the former director of the state-run oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Emilio Lozoya, who was arrested earlier this year in Spain for his alleged links to the Odebrecht corruption case, has agreed to be extradited.

“(On Monday), Emilio Lozoya Austin formally presented before the Criminal Court of the Audiencia Nacional of the Kingdom of Spain his written request in which he agrees to the extradition required by this Attorney General’s Office,” Gertz Manero said on Tuesday.

He said that “a series of procedures” will be undertaken with Spain so that “in the immediate future this person may be returned to Mexico”, reports Efe news.

Lozoya, against whom an international search and capture order has been pending since May 2019 for his alleged links to the international bribery activities of Brazil’s Odebrecht construction firm, was arrested on February 12 in Malaga, Spain.

Lozoya headed Pemex from 2012-2016, during the 2012-2018 administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Once Lozoya is extradited to Mexico, the judicial process will begin to clarify “the responsibilities of all those involved and their beneficiaries regarding the designated crimes, including people of relevance or political groups that may have participated”, the Attorney General said.

Two investigations enabled the Attorney General’s Office last year to obtain two separate international arrest warrants against Lozoya, whose case has spread doubts regarding Pena Nieto, although the country’s incumbent President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has categorically denied that his predecessor was being probed.