Mexico president opposes prosecuting predecessors

FILE - In this July 1, 2019 file photo, Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivers his speech during rally to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his election, in Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo. Vigilante attacks and mob justice appeared to be on the rise in Mexico this second week of August, as violence mounted, two dozen bodies appeared along roadsides and the government ruled out any new crackdown on criminal gangs. But Lopez Obrador said Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, that he won’t be drawn into the kind of army offensive that then-President Felipe Calderon launched against the cartels in 2006, when he sent troops to Michoacan. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador repeated Friday his opposition to prosecuting former presidents even as he said that a president would know everything that happened during his administration.

The question of prosecuting ex-presidents has taken new life with prosecutors' pursuit of Rosario Robles, an ex-Cabinet minister of former President Enrique Peña Nieto.

This week a judge ordered that Robles be held in jail pending trial for allegedly knowing about the diversion of $260 million of public funds going back to 2014 and not doing anything. The judge also told prosecutors to clarify whether Peña Nieto knew about it. Robles is accused of "wrongful exercise of public service."

"Mexico's president has all of the information," López Obrador said. "All presidents know what happens."

López Obrador said if the public really wants to go after an ex-president he would consider holding a public vote on it. He has made battling corruption a centerpiece of his administration, but consistently said he doesn't want to pursue his predecessors. He has said he wants to move forward, not seek revenge.

The president also characterized as "legal sabotage" a judge's order Thursday to stop construction of a new commercial airport for the capital at the Santa Lucia military base until an injunction requested by organizations opposed to the project is resolved.

"Seeking injunctions against all the projects we're going is the national sport," López Obrador said. "I hope it's resolved quickly."

The judge's decision could be appealed by the government.