Horses, properties, jewelry and CJNG: who is Roberto Sandoval

Roberto Sandoval Castañeda was arrested this Sunday, June 6, along with his daughter, accused of the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin. During his tenure in Nayarit (2011-2017), the president faced accusations of illicit enrichment, which was exhibited through his horses, his properties and the links attributed to him with organized crime.

Mexico City, June 6 (However) .- The way of life of Roberto Sandoval Castañeda it did not go unnoticed. At the beginning of July 2017, two months after the end of his term in the Government of Nayarit (2011-2017), the then Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR), now the FGR, initiated an investigation for illicit enrichment, according to the press, against the president emanated from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who during his tenure satisfied his tastes for horses, jewelry and property.

Sandoval Castañeda was arrested with his daughter Lidy Alejandra during the early hours of this Sunday in the municipality of Linares, in Nuevo León for the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin. Elements of the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) of the FGR, the Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA), the National Intelligence Center (CNI) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) of the Secretariat participated in his arrest. of Finance and Public Credit.

The former governor’s arrest occurs more than a year and a half after it was required by the authorities, and just within the framework of the election day of this June 6, in which more than 20 thousand positions will be elected, a figure never before seen in the history of the country.

In March of this year, a judge issued a new arrest warrant against Sandoval and his daughter, and also requested a red card from Interpol “for the possible commission of the crime of operations with resources of illicit origin.”

Sandoval is accused of embezzlement in the Investment and Reinvestment Fund for the Creation and Support of Social Enterprises of the State of Nayarit. The former governor faces up to 20 years in jail, disqualification from public office and a penalty to repair the damage of about 20 million pesos, according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

THE TASTE FOR HORSES

Roberto Sandoval Castañeda made his fortune grow, according to the authorities of Mexico and the United States, by diverting public resources and accepting millionaire bribes from “Los Cuinis”, the financial arm of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG). One of the samples of their enrichment was evidenced by their ranches, their thoroughbred horses, exclusive cattle and stallions.

Precisely, on February 28 of last year, the Secretary of State of the United States during the administration of Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, accused him of receiving bribes from organized crime. By then, the Nayarit Prosecutor in Sandoval’s administration, Édgar Veytia, had already pleaded guilty in that country for having allowed drug trafficking to and from the United States and for obstructing investigations and prosecution of members of drug trafficking in Mexico. .

Roberto Sandoval in July 2011 when he won the governorship of Nayarit. Photo: Cuartoscuro.

The increase in the assets of Sandoval occurred in his period at the head of the Government of the State of Nayarit, during the six-year term of Enrique Peña Nieto, as happened with other governors of that party. It was in this management when the purchase of ranches, houses, apartments, fine horses and high-register cattle took place.

In 2017, the last year of his administration, Sandoval moved around 7,000 head of cattle to northern Mexico. “Some seven thousand were taken to Coahuila, to the Aguatoche ranch, owned by former governor Humberto Moreira,” while another “150 were taken to the El Julión ranch, in Chiapas,” was detailed in the report “Roberto Sandoval: chronicle of an enrichment delirious ”posted by Process in 2019.

A year later, in March 2018, the press reported that the Nayarit Prosecutor’s Office secured five properties to the former governor and his family; However, Rodrigo González, spokesman for the Truth Commission of that state, warned that this was only the “tip of the iceberg”, because in addition to the alleged illicit enrichment, the purchase of 12 thousand head of cattle and 350 mares should be investigated of Spanish breeding, part of which moved to Coahuila.

The same reports indicate that when he arrived at the Government of Nayarit he had about 350 mares from the Spanish Torre de Luna stud farm, plus 68 horses from La Cantera – another of his ranches, which he acquired in 2014 through the company L-INMO, SA de CV. , designated by the US Treasury Department as one of those that Sandoval used to cover his illicit enrichment and launder drug money— 30 from El Armadillo and 22 from La Cima del Cielo.

The report published by Process At that time, signed by Patricia Dávila, it indicated that Sandoval’s taste for Purebred Spanish horses led him to ally – according to the United States government – with drug cartels, which made him accumulate great wealth, always with help from former prosecutor Édgar Veytia.

Part of this exclusive cattle was taken in 2017 to Coahuila, Aguatoche wide, by former governor Humberto Moreira. Two years later, in 2019, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Finance reported that an investigation was being carried out into the businesses that Roberto Sandoval and César Duarte, former PRI governor of Chihuahua, did with public money through a livestock association . Santiago Nieto Castillo, the head of the Unit, said in an interview with Televisa that the livestock association, which was from Duarte, received money from Financiera Rural and also public resources from Nayarit. Then there was an exchange of acquisition and sale of cattle between the former PRI presidents.

PROPERTIES, GOLDEN SADDLES …

The other side of the luxuries accumulated by Roberto Sandoval was made public when in December 2020 the Nayarit Prosecutor’s Office seized objects “of great value” in two properties of the former governor, including a saddle with gold details and the initials “RSC ”.

Image of a chair seized by the FGE of Nayarit on the former governor’s property. Photo: FGE Nayarit.

The properties searched on that occasion, the ranch “La Cantera” and the Fundación Ríe, had an approximate value of 170 million pesos. Images released by the Prosecutor’s Office showed a saddle with gold inlays.

In addition to the inlaid saddle, pieces of Wixárika art, animal sculptures and paintings were also found, as can be seen in the images released at that time.

Pieces of Wixárika art that were also seized. Photos: Nayarit Prosecutor’s Office.

“It was possible to inspect and inventory various objects also of great value, widely recognized as the property of former Governor Roberto Sandoval Castañeda, thereby strengthening the presumption that he behaves as the true owner of said properties. The objects will be valued and integrated into the quantification of the illicit and unjustified patrimony of Roberto Sandoval Castañeda; due to their excessive luxury, they are one more proof of this, ”the Nayarit Prosecutor’s Office reported last December.

Saddles seized last December at the Sandoval ranches. Photo: Nayarit Prosecutor’s Office.

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