Juan Vergel Pacheco, a leader of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, called the state government's story "absurd and infantile," noting that at very least, the cash shipment violated government accounting procedures and tax laws.
The movement of money that way shows up in plain-old corruption scandals, Zepeda Patterson said. Corrupt officials often use vaguely worded "consultancy" or service contracts to get kickbacks, because it is hard to prove the "goods" aren't delivered, or aren't worth as much as is paid for them, he said.
"Typically, the way these things work is that they say, 'I'll give you 25 million pesos, and you give me back 15,'" he said. "Obviously, the political rivals automatically assume that it was money destined for electoral purposes, and that could be ... but it also may have had a lot more vulgar aims, like simply enriching family bank accounts."