Thursday, February 28, 2013

BREAKING: It's Possible to be Too Corrupt Even for Mexico

If you showed us two headlines - say, "Chapo Guzman Dead" and "Teacher's Union President Arrested" - and asked us which one was more likely to be true, we'd have picked the former without hesitation.  Alas, no.

Readers in El Norte (who probably can't name the head of the American Federation of Teachers without the aide of Google) might be surprised at this collection of yesterday's front pages, but Elba Esther Gordillo is one of the most powerful unelected officials in the country, and her arrest on corruption charges is enormous news, not just for what it means for the future of Mexico's truly shitty public schools, but also for the administration of the new president everybody hates.  If Peña Nieto is looking to send a signal that his PRI is not like the old one, this is a pretty bold start.



At the same time, seeing just how big a deal this is is kind of depressing. It's almost impossible to overstate just how nakedly - how cartoonishly - corrupt  Elba Esther is.  A few years ago, she gave out 59 Hummers as year-end bonuses.  If she were to arrive at Los Pinos borne aloft on golden litter by a team of shirtless eunuchs, no one in Mexico would bat an eye.  The accusations against here - embezzling some $200 million and spending it on luxury homes, plastic surgery and Neiman Marcus shopping sprees - surprise exactly no one.  (Okay, maybe that last one... Neiman Marcus is a nice store, but we have no idea how you could spend $2 million bucks there.)  But the fact that this was officially deemed unacceptable - that's got people gobsmacked.

Still a long way to go, Mexico...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the message is don't fuck with the new PRI cause it's just like old PRI.
Pobrecita Maestra,it's gonna be real hard adjusting to her new living conditions.

Anonymous said...

I think the message is don't fuck with the new PRI cause it's just like old PRI.
Pobrecita Maestra,it's gonna be real hard adjusting to her new living conditions.

Mexfiles said...

"New" PRI in this? Please! This is exactly what Peña Nieto's mentor, Carlos Salinas, did with PEMEX union prez Joaquin Hernandez Galicia at the start of his own campaign for a neo-liberal (i.e. "free market", anti-union) policy in the oil and minerals market. Or, for that matter, what happened to Luis Napoleon Morones back when Plutarco Elias Calles came to power and decided to turn the Revolution away from pure Socialism. Not that anyone is sympathetic to Elba Esther mind you.

Dave said...

Yesterday's Reforma used nearly an entire page for photos of her at various phases of her altered appearances over the years. (just noted that this was posted in Mexfiles as well). Really astonishing. Also pretty amazing how little beauty money can buy.

How can you give away THAT many Hummers and nobody seems to care?

Mexfiles said...

Uh... she never gave theHummers away. Thinking fast when questions were raised, she decided they were prizes in a raffle with the proceeds to go to under-funded indigenous schools. I bought a two tickets... though the thought of getting a hummer from Elba Esther wasn't exactly appealing.

Dave said...

Still....a rather weird part of the story.

Probably a lot more enticing if you wouldn't have to share a ride.

Crazy Rita said...

Dennis Van Roekel is the president of the NEA, but I only know that because I get the newsletters. The AFT seems to be the main supporter of Chicago teachers who like to strike. But, then again, if I worked in Chicago, I may strike too.

Crazy Rita said...

http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2013/02/a-look-into-la-chuckys-san-diego-life.html

The comparison to the chupacabra is hilarious