Until very recently, Luis Videgaray Caso led a quiet, low-key life in the United States, where he serves as a senior visiting professor at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
The former secretary of Foreign Relations in the presidential term of Enrique Peña Nieto directs the academic program of Geopolitics of Artificial Intelligence at MIT (AI Policy for the World Project).
At the moment, says journalist Dolia Estévez, the former politician lives alone in an apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts, although he usually travels to Mexico to visit his family, the industrial engineer Virginia Gómez del Campo (with whom he has been married since 1995). and their three children, Luis, Virginia and Isabel.
As a teacher, adds the journalist, Videgaray has left behind suits and ties and generally spends his work days in much more casual looks. And it is understood: since he began his new position as a professor, he permanently moved away from the public eye and by his own decision he stopped giving interviews and tweeting.
But his low-profile situation could change in a moment after the first testimonies that Emilio Lozoya has given about the Odebretch case, in which the name of the former Secretary of the Treasury has come to light.
In fact, in February of this year, just days before Lozoya was arrested in Malaga, Spain, Luis Videgaray knew that things were changing.
The former Secretary was at MIT, giving a lecture on Artificial Intelligence, when Alonso, a mathematics student, raised his hand.
No, he had no doubts about artificial intelligence, but he did want to know by voice the role his teacher had played in several “thorny” cases: embezzlement of funds for the Peña campaign, bribes from Brazilian construction companies Odebretch-OH , the orders to Emilio Lozoya …
“I defend my career and my actions. Obviously, as a policy maker, I did good things and made mistakes, but I learned a lot. I will be happy to talk to you whenever you want, my office door will always be open and we can discuss it ”, was Videgaray’s response.
What mistakes were you talking about? It is not known for sure. Estévez and Salvador García Soto cite in their respective columns in Sin Embargo and El Universal that they contacted the former Secretary of the Treasury via email to ask him directly if the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) had already contacted him to clarify what Emilio Lozoya had said. in his testimony. Already have a lawyer? What do you have to say to the accusations of the former director of Pemex?
“Since I left the Government of Mexico I have refrained from giving interviews, or publishing opinions on the media or social networks. I remain attached to this personal decision, and I greatly appreciate your understanding. I reiterate my commitment that, when I decide to make my opinions public, it will be a pleasure to talk with you ”, was his reply.
According to Salvador García Soto, Videgaray is aware of the accusations against him, “but he knows very well that Lozoya hallucinates him due to the strong differences that they had almost from the beginning of the six-year term of the Peñista administration and that he will seek revenge with everything against him because in the end , the former director of Pemex is clear that the decision to remove him from Pemex, in February 2016, was precisely from the then Secretary of the Treasury who, after several months of requesting his departure, convinced President Peña Nieto that Emilio should be removed to prevent the crisis of production and refining that had caused in the national oil company from deepening ”.
The other key piece
It is not known at what point Luis Videgaray will make his opinions public, but it would not be unusual for the current government to demand that he do so. After all, Lozoya mentioned his name on several occasions in a document he submitted to negotiate his extradition to Mexico.
He accuses him, for example, of orchestrating a transaction: allocating $ 6 million paid by Odebretch to “benefit contracts” and to pay bribes “to legislators, in order to guarantee the approval of the energy reform in 2014.”
In his document, Lozoya also maintains that Videgaray and Peña Nieto ordered him to use 52 million 380 thousand pesos to bribe PAN legislators in order to approve various reforms of the Pact for Mexico or that Luis asked him to bribe Ricardo Anaya and other legislators. PAN members to approve the Energy Reform.
Luis Videgaray studied Economics at ITAM and also has a PhD in Economics with a specialty in Public Finance from MIT.
Before making the leap into politics, he worked in investment banking and was an advisor to Pedro Aspe (Secretary of Finance and Public Credit) in the six-year term of Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Then, in 2005 and as an active member of the PRI, he became secretary of Finance, Planning and Administration of the State of Mexico, when Enrique Peña Nieto was governor of the entity.
Six years later he coordinated two campaigns: that of Eruviel Ávila, candidate for the Edomex governorship, and that of Enrique Peña Nieto, candidate for the presidency of the Republic.
During EPN’s six-year term, he held two positions: Secretary of the Treasury and Public Credit (position he held from 2012 to 2016) and Secretary of Foreign Relations (he assumed in 2017 and ended at the end of Peña’s term).
As Secretary of the Treasury, he was named “Best Finance Secretary of the Year” by magazines such as The Banker and Euromoney; In addition, in 2004, Foreign Policy magazine included him in its list of the 100 Most Important Global Thinkers.