Guadalajara's Cardinal Cleared in Money Investigation

Was Accused by One-time Attorney General

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MEXICO CITY, JAN. 6, 2003 ( The Mexican attorney general’s office closed an investigation after concluding that Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez of Guadalajara was innocent of accusations of money laundering.

José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, responsible for the office’s Section on Organized Delinquency, said in a press conference Dec. 26 that there was no proof of laundering, illicit origin of funds, or tax fraud on the part of the archbishop of Guadalajara.

He clarified that the construction of four churches and a shelter for immigrants was not paid for with illicit funds, as former Attorney General Jorge Carpizo had claimed.

On July 8, Carpizo denounced Cardinal Sandoval, accusing him of being involved in financial irregularities, but the attorney general’s office proved that all financial moves by the cardinal were legal.

The Finance Ministry will not prosecute the cardinal because there was no tax evasion either, the attorney added.

Sources close to the cardinal’s defense attributed the accusations against him to the way in which then Attorney General Carpizo concluded the investigation into the 1993 killing of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo.

Carpizo concluded that Cardinal Posadas was killed by mistake during a fight between drug traffickers. But Cardinal Sandoval contended the killing was premeditated.

José Vasconcelos, of the attorney general’s office, said that Carpizo’s denunciation did not reflect any «mean or unhealthy» interest against Cardinal Sandoval, but that there had been sentiments «that reached these extremes.»

He said, however, that the office would not be party to using the judicial process «for personal revenge and interpersonal conflicts.»

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