The governmental austerity speech that the state administration preaches has not meant much in the official foreign missions that have been carried out by officials from Baja California's Ministry for Economic Development (SEDECO, in Spanish), which have been characterized by buying luxury hotels, consumption in restaurants very far from the sobriety demanded by the public service and even payments for excess baggage, all charged to the treasury; the payments have exceeded the limits allowed in the administrative norm that regulates the official commissions, travel expenses, lodging and other expenses derived therefrom.
In Baja California, when it comes to official trips outside of Mexico, the procedure of expenses verification is applied, that is, regarding travel expenses, with a maximum fee of $100.00 dollars for all countries, except where the EURO is the sole legal tender, in which case the maximum fee per day is €100.00 euros.
In terms of accommodation, the maximum daily fee is $280.00USD for all countries except where the EURO is the sole legal tender, in which case the maximum fee is €280,000 euros.
However, the expenses incurred in the economic investment promotion tours show that the excesses are a constant in the way to promote SEDECO. During the Asian tour from March 19 to April 7, 2017, expenses exceeded $850,000 Mexican pesos. Only in one day, a four-person entourage spent $13,000 MXN on food at the HuaTian; on the other hand, while on the Asian tour in 2016, $78,000 pesos were paid in a single day for the luxurious rooms of Carlo Bonfante, Miguel Bujanda, Barbara Ruelas and Roberto Durazo at The Shilla, on March 12.
A year earlier, on the Asian promotion tour, held from March 8 to March 28 of 2016, Carlo Bonfante’s expenses were included in this promotion tour; such expenses amount to $47,420 MXN. These expenses took place between April 13 and April 15, outside the dates of the tour, as well as the expenses of Francisco Aguirre, private secretary of SEDECO, which amounted to $31,425 MXN from April 12 to April 16. The reason is still unknown.
In this way officials spend money in five-star hotels, exclusive restaurants, expensive work meetings and baggage excess; these expenses do not present any justification.
Another case is the European tour in July 2016, in which investment promoter Barbara Ruelas spent about $17,000 MXN in transport (trains and taxis), in just 20 days; likewise, while on the Asia tour – which took place in March of 2016 and also lasted 20 days – Ruelas spent $14,070 MXN.
Mentions aside are the payments for the excess baggage of Barbara Ruelas, of course charged to the public funds. In the 2015 Asia tour, $416 USD ($6,031 MXN) were paid for the promoter’s excess baggage, $498 USD ($8,127 MXN) for the 2016 Asia tour, and $283 USD ($4,957 MXN) on the 2016 European tour; that is, more than $19,000 MXN for excess baggage on three tours.
On tours in Asia and Europe, officials have paid “working meetings” at The Westin Miyako for $17,937 Mexican pesos, at the Italian restaurant IL Fornaio $10,744 Mexican pesos, at the Grand Hyatt UK $9,182 Mexican pesos, at the Bentley Seafood $8,572 Mexican pesos and at the Hotel Monaco $7,174 Mexican pesos, just to mention a few..... Continue reading article here