Mexico: Former Pemex CEO arrested in Spain

By Sierra Juarez

Queretaro, Mexico (AA) – The former director of Mexico’s government-owned oil company was arrested Wednesday in Spain.

Mexico had an international warrant out for Emilio Lozoya Austin’s arrest for about a year.

Spanish police arrested Lozoya Austin in Malaga, according to local media reports, and the plan is to extradite him to Mexico.

Lozoya Austin served as director of the oil company under former president Enrique Pena Nieto between 2012 and 2016.

He is accused of receiving bribes as part of the Odebrecht scandal, which racked Latin America as many politicians and ministers were implicated in widespread corruption.

Lozoya Austin has refuted the accusations but stepped down in 2016 amid the allegations.

The oil company has long been accused of corruption, such as giving money to political parties.

Pemex was the second largest oil and gas company in Latin America in 2018. But in recent years, its production decreased and the company is in millions of dollars of debt.

Mexico's president vowed to rescue the oil company and said by the end of 2020, Pemex would have produced 50,000 additional barrels of oil.