Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Corruption: President of Michoacán Avocado Association Identified in Tuta Meeting Video

Chivís Martinez for Borderland Beat

The president of the Association of Producers and Exporting Packers of Avocado Michoacán (APEAM), Sergio Roberto Urbina, submitted his resignation after a video was released by Uchepo Vengador, went viral, in which Urbina  appears with Servando Gómez Martínez, La Tuta, leader of the Caballeros Templarios

In resigning he stated:  
"In light of the developments that have arisen from a video posted on Tuesday, April 29, of  this year and to keep the Association and Program free of any negative effects, I do willingly submit my resignation as president APEAM AC, which is irrevocable "

He went on to clarify, that his resignation does not mean taking responsibility for what is presumed in the video. 

"I have nothing to hide”  further saying, he resigned so that “competent authorities” can remove doubts about him and hold harmless his reputation.

Therefore, keep my line of defense before the competent authorities to clarify any doubts and hold harmless my reputation.
 
In attempting damage control, APEAM board of directors quickly issued a letter to its membership, stating the union remains “intact”, despite the scandal.

The letter went on to outline the integrity of its administration and the methods used to conduct business including audits, under the supervision of the governments of Mexico and United States.

It seems a weak attempt to distant themselves from Organized crime groups, when their president is on video tape at a meeting being conducted by the premier leader of the Templarios cartel.

The video is an example of how deeply organized crime has permeated Michoacán in every aspect of its society.  

In the Youtube video Lazro Cardenas government officials are attending the meeting with La Tuta.
Archimedes Oseguera Mayor Lazaro Cardenas, (arrested April 28th) Omar Soto, treasurer of the same council also arrested, José Valladares, former mayor of Apatzingán, Marvin Toledo Gill, senior city officer, on the run but wanted by PGJE, for  organized crime collusion and other offenses including his alleged involvement in the crimes of kidnapping, extortion.

In the original release of the video, question marks were depicted above the heads of unknown persons including the Association president who is with EPN in the foto above.  Now all but one man is identified.  See video below

Sources used to write this post: El FInanciero, Changoonga and Youtube
Thank you to the reader for directing me to the information for this story!