PGH, de vida modesta a lujos y un posible enriquecimiento | PGH, from modest life to luxury and possible enrichment

Country/area: Mexico

Organisation: Decisiones

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 02/06/2021

Credit: 2, Jessica Yanet Padilla Tepoxtecatl, Marcelo Javier Ramírez Herrera.


 I am Jessica Padilla Tepoxtecatl, I studied journalism at the University of Guadalajara, just Ocotlán, Jalisco. I was born in the state capital and at 18 I traveled to Ocotlán to study journalism. Since I started my job as a reporter, I realized the discrimination suffered by people who live in regions outside the capitals. I got to know the periphery of the periphery and I realized that there were good reports and notes but that they did not transcend Guadalajara and therefore the state governments or decentralized entities did not take them into account. To date they continue to make us less. For that reason I decided to stay to report. First at Radio UdeG, then after an incident of insecurity, I decided to work for a local newspaper called Mi Región. Finally, when Marcelo Ramírez Herrera invited me to collaborate on “Decisiones” -a recently created project- I joined as a co-founder. Since January 17, 2015, I have been working as a reporter in this medium in which we seek to write about what other colleagues do not always write. I like to report mainly political and corruption issues, but also environmental issues, gender agenda and diverse community. We seek to be the reporters who ask about minority groups. Currently at 29 years old, I am the general director of Decisions and I work with a small team that learns quickly and that helps me motivate my work. Our reports and notes have helped to generate opinion in the Cienega region and that satisfaction has been very important to me in particular. I see journalism as a way to empower people and more to new generations, which makes me very proud. I have some personal aspirations that I will surely carry out in later years that have to do with academic research, but for now journalism is still my world. 
 Marcelo Javier Ramírez was a reporter in Proceso, and a correspondent for Medio Milenio. Both jobs in Jalisco. Although he also had a participation in the Proceso Magazine at the national level. Founder of the communication medium Decisiones in Ocotlán. Coordinator of the Journalism Degree at the University of Guadalajara.

Project description:

 The report gives an account of the modes of operation to avoid justice, of the then candidate for the federal deputation of the 15th district of Jalisco. Which consisted of divorcing so that the properties were not in his name but in the name of his in-laws.

Impact reached:

 After spreading the report, the candidate asked for his right to reply but without abiding by current law, so he was given the opportunity to generate it again. However, as he lost the elections, he was no longer interested in resuming his defense. We know unofficially that the government of Jalisco found out but did not make complaints about it.

Techniques/technologies used:

 I used information on transparency and access to information. Among which stands out the public registry of property in Jalisco, as well as the base of the Public Registry of Commerce of Mexico. También utilizamos la base de datos de la nómina del municipio de Ocotlán del año 2009 y se corroboró con la del 2017, 2018 y 2019. 

What was the hardest part of this project?

 The investigation lasted three years. Separately we had information but there was no common thread, we knew that there was an illicit enrichment but we did not have the information to prove it. With the investigation and joining the loose threads, we were able to make a timeline that allowed us to identify that the divorce of the presidential couple helped both to buy houses and land without obligation and that a lawsuit that was generated against the candidate was not appropriate because it was did after their divorce. In addition, this timeline made us prove that his partner benefited when Paulo Hernández was municipal president.
 For three years I personally began to investigate the official, but due to lack of resources I was unable to access information that would give me more understanding, due to the lack of time derived from the daily journalism tasks that I had to do. In 2021 we managed to have two more people in Decisions and that helped us to be able to clearly identify through an alternative job, information that helped us to know more about Paulo Hernández. The budget improvement in 2021 really helped us realize this investigation.

What can others learn from this project?

 Of course, there are many similar databases in each municipality, in each state and surely a large part of democratic countries. We would even be interested in helping other colleagues to do this type of project in their own municipalities. Knowing the commercial and property databases, as well as the payroll is complex but also with experience is an achievable goal.

Project links: