Mexico finmin bought home from gov’t contractor in scandal-WSJ

MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) – Mexico’s finance minister bought a home from a government contractor who is at the centre of a conflict-of-interest scandal embroiling President Enrique Pena Nieto and his administration, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Property records show that the minister, Luis Videgaray, bought the house at an exclusive golf resort outside the town of Malinalco in the central State of Mexico from Bienes Raices H&G SA, the Journal reported.

The firm, commercial records show, is owned by Juan Armando Hinojosa, whose companies have won hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of public-works projects during Pena Nieto’s time as governor of the State of Mexico and during his current administration, the report said.

Videgaray, in a letter released by his ministry late on Thursday, said there was no conflict of interest. The purchase of the home was made in October 2012, before he held public office, and was within “market parameters”, he said.

“I categorically reiterate that I am absolutely convinced that I have acted honestly and in full compliance with the law,” Videgaray said in the statement.

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