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    Lopez Obrador with relatives of the missing 43 students from the teachers' college of Ayotzinapa, in Iguala, Guerrero. May 25, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 2 June 2018

UN Office for Project Services sent a letter to the candidate to discuss mechanisms to fight increasing corruption in Mexico.

The campaign of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has published a letter by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), in which the agency pledges to discuss mechanisms to fight corruption in government purchases and contracts with the candidate if he wins the July 1 elections.

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The frontrunner in Mexico's presidential election previously sent a letter, dated May 16, to Fabrizio Feliciani, regional director of UNOPS, to discuss future anti-corruption mechanisms.

In reply to Lopez Obrador, the agency said that it is willing to “start conversations with the aim of working together in strategic projects as well as in technical assistance in strategic acquisitions and independent diagnosis of those proposals you have brought to our consideration.”

The letter was posted on Twitter by Marcelo Ebrard, a former Mexico City mayor and one of Lopez Obrador's regional coordinators.

“I share with you a letter from the UN to AMLO (through the Office for Project Services UNOPS): Happy to participate in Mexico's new phase on tenders and purchases. There will be, for the first time, first degree international accompaniment against corruption.”

The agency described as the “UN's system central mechanism to manage purchases and contracts, as well as public works and the development of physical infrastructure, including activities related to promoting capacities.”

Lopez Obrador had spoken before about the possibility of international organisms to help corruption in the country. He had even suggested the “CICIG” model, based on the UN-backed Guatemalan commission to fight crime, corruption, and impunity.

In a report called: “The Mexican System of Public Contracts” the Mexican Institute on Competitiveness (IMCO) registered irregularities on 700,000 public purchases processed during the Enrique Peña Nieto's administration, highlighting the lack of transparency and competition.

Seventy-one percent of those contracts were granted without tender, while 1.9 percent of the 120,411 registered providers got 80 percent of the resources aimed at public acquisitions.

Despite the letter, the deputy spokesman of the UN secretary-general stated Friday, that the agency remains impartial and that its offer “should not be interpreted as an expression of support to any candidate.”

Lopez Obrador is leading all polls by a wide margin, running on an anti-corruption platform and an eclectic ideology mixing the legacies of different Mexican historical personalities, such as the anarchists Flores Magon brothers and the liberals Benito Juarez or Francisco Ignacio Madero.

In the most recent opinion poll published by Bloomberg, Lopez Obrador got 52.8 percent of the voting preference, more than the amount received by Ricardo Anaya, a right-wing candidate, who was second in the poll with 26 percent.


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