A Mexican federal lawmaker and an infamous drug lord had a chat expressing support for each other and discussed bribing a reporter, charged a Mexico City radio station.
W Radio broadcast a recording that the station claimed captured congressman César Godoy, a member of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party who represents the western of Michoacán, talking to La Familia cartel leader Servando Gómez, also known as “La Tuta.”
“Buddy, first of all I want you to win…. You can count on full support, you are going to win,” the voice identified as belonging to Godoy says in the recording.
The station said the exchange took place last year. Godoy – who is already in hot water on charges of protecting the cartel – has denied knowing Gómez.
“The federal government, under the pretext of the so-called war against drug trafficking, has taken its persecution to the media with the intention that I be subjected to a lynching in public opinion,” Godoy told reporters Thursday.
The congressman said a judge had already rejected the recording as evidence, but wouldn’t say whether it was his voice on the tape.
Because he is a congressman, Godoy has immunity from the federal charges of protecting La Familia. But he is one of 36 people in Michoacán – including politicians, mayors, prosecutors, police and judges – who the federal government accused of having ties to the violent cartel last year.
Officials at the Attorney General's Office refused to confirm or deny the authenticity of the recording.
The conversation also mentions an unidentified Mexican reporter in the pay of La Familia. The man identified as Godoy expresses his annoyance that the reporter published articles critical of his party and asks Gómez to do something about it.
PRD Secretary-General Hortensia Aragon said that if the recorded telephone call is legitimate, Godoy should step down temporarily so he can face justice.
"If the case, as presented today, is true, (Godoy) should request a leave of absence and legally defend himself like any other citizen," Aragon said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.