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Report: Generales de Durango Will Not Play 2024 LMB Season Due to Owner’s Legal Troubles

 Leif Skodnick  |    Feb 17th, 2024 12:17pm EST

By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network

The Liga Mexicana de Beisbol’s Generales de Durango will not play the 2024 season, Beisbolpuro, a Mexican baseball website, reported last week.

Neither the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol nor the Generales de Durango have issued any statement regarding the status of the team, which is scheduled to begin the 90-game LMB regular season on April 12 on the road against the Saraperos de Saltillo.

The Generales are owned by businessman Carlos Lazo, a Venezuelan businessman with extensive business interests in Mexico, including the Generales, a soccer team, and the Mexico City Reds of the Liga Futbol Americano, a professional American football league that plays in Mexico.

Lazo also owns Grupo Xoy and Yox Holdings, two organizations that have been accused of fraud by Mexican prosecutors in the state of Jalisco. According to a report by the Mexican website Proceso, Yox Holdings defaulted on payments to investors starting in December 2023, and owes nearly MX$130 million – approximately $7.5 million – in damages as of Jan. 18.

Multiple reports indicate Lazo has not been seen since the accusations of fraud surfaced in January. A report in La Jornada indicated that Lazo’s companies were, essentially, a Ponzi scheme, using the money of later investors to pay the returns to earlier investors. Around 40,000 victims were defrauded of over MX$1 billion to invest in the companies, which claimed to use algorithms to place wagers on sporting events to generate returns.

Garrett Kroeger of the Laredo Morning Times reported that the LMB would proceed with 19 teams for the 2024 season, with games involving the Generales being cancelled and their scheduled opponents having off days.

A source with knowledge of the situation indicated to World Baseball Network that the league has yet to make a decision on how the season would go forward.

On January 23, LMB president Horacio de La Vega told Mexican media outlet Fortuna, “We are in a process of deliberation, of meetings with the Board of Directors, with the Assembly of Owners. … There is a judicial process that has started and a formal investigation, as reported in different media.

De la Vega continued, “We, as a League, together with the owners, have to make some determination; It will not go beyond this week to take a specific position on the future of Generales.”

Three weeks later, it would seem nothing has been decided.