Feb 28, 2013

Arrest of union boss rivets Mexico

People inside and outside the country speculate on what message the new president aims to send with the charges against the infamous Elba Esther Gordillo.

Los Angeles Time 
By Richard Fausset
February 27, 2013

MEXICO CITY — The reversal of fortune could not have been more striking. And for many Mexicans, the images, broadcast live on national television Wednesday, could not have been more unexpected.

Here, once again, was Elba Esther Gordillo, the powerful boss of Mexico's massive, sclerotic teachers union. But instead of the image Mexicans were used to — Gordillo standing in front of adoring followers, defiantly speechifying, dressed to the nines — her famous face was now barely visible through the bars of a Mexico City jail.

The face scowled above a simple white turtleneck as a federal court official read the charges against her. They allege that she illegally diverted more than $156 million in union funds, which she used to support her famously lavish lifestyle: the plastic surgery procedures; the Neiman Marcus spending sprees; the private jets like the one she had landed in Tuesday at the Toluca airport, where she and three others were promptly arrested by federal officials.  Read more. 

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