Criminal charges brought against Mazatlan Mayor


The mayor was reported to the FGE for alleged property damage against the Municipality.

MAZATLAN. – The State Congress denounced before the State Attorney General the Municipal President of Mazatlán, Luis Guillermo Benítez Torres, for alleged property damage detected by the Superior State Audit in the contract to acquire luminaires with Azteca Lighting.

And you are probably wondering what happened, why would a mayor be sued? Next, we explain why and a chronology of the events.  

How it all started? 

We could say that it all began on March 2, 2022, when the Mazatlán City Council entered into a contract with the Azteca Lighting company for 400 million 854 thousand 204.50 pesos, for the purchase of 2 thousand 139 LED lights, lights that would serve to “whiten the city”, a project brought by the municipal president.  

This acquisition quickly became somewhat controversial because said contract, with folio OM-UA-145/2022, was awarded directly and not through a tender, a way in which several companies participate, and the one that does the bidding wins. Best offer.

On May 9, the councilors of the Sinaloense Party, América Carrasco Valenzuela, Francisca Osuna Velarde, Reynaldo González Meza, and the PAN member Martín Pérez Torres, filed a complaint with the Superior State Audit for possible irregularities in the purchase of said lamps. 

That same month, the Acquisitions Committee appeared before the body of Regidores to explain the reasons for the expense.  

Meanwhile, the mayor kept announcing that the neighborhood is cleaner, it was the one that was going to get lighting first.

The cancellation of the contract

After the controversy, on September 12, Mayor Luis Guillermo Benítez Torres reported that he had canceled the contract with Azteca Lighting due to a breach of contract by the lighting company. The cancellation had the objective of also recovering the 60 million that had been given in advance.  

The cancellation of the contract was celebrated, even by Governor Rubén Rocha Moya.

On October 13, Alonso Puerto, owner of Azteca Lighting, offered a press conference where he informed the media that the Administrative Justice Court ruled in his favor with the suspension of nullity of the rescission contract delivered by the Mazatlán City Council. to not buy the lights, with a total cost of just over 400 million pesos. This meant that the city council could not cancel the initial contract, and the 60 million pesos that were given in advance could not be recovered.

The complaint against the Mayor

On October 19, the ASE reported that it would file criminal charges with the State Attorney General’s Office against the mayor of Mazatlán, Luis Guillermo Benítez Torres, better known as “Chemist” Benítez.

The ASE calculated a patrimonial damage to the public treasury of 60 million 880 thousand 730.6 pesos and since this was an irregular acquisition, with a procedure contrary to the legal norms that govern acquisitions in the state of Sinaloa, the lawsuit proceeded. 

On October 20, the state attorney general, Sara Bruna Quiñónez, confirmed that they received the complaint from the Superior State Audit against the mayor of Mazatlan, for which an investigation file was opened against him for the irregular performance of the public function. 

The prosecutor announced that if this complaint proceeds, the removal of the acting mayor from the State Congress will be requested, in order to judge him properly. 

Rejection of Public Account 

The Congress of the State of Sinaloa rejected 6 Public Accounts corresponding to the 2020 fiscal year of 11 municipalities and approved those of 7 municipalities.

The municipal public entities whose Public Accounts were rejected are: Mazatlan Aquarium, Municipal Commission for the Development of Populated Centers of Ahome and the Municipal Potable Water Boards of Elota, Guasave, Ahome, Navolato and Mocorito.

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