million in funds for plastic surgery
Elba Esther Gordillo, Mexican union head, jailed for allegedly embezzling $3 million in funds for plastic surgery, private planesMEXICO CITY One of Mexico biggest political kingfish sits in a women prison in the capital, accused of embezzling millions in funds from her teachers union to pay for property, private planes, plastic rolex watches for sale surgery and her Neiman Marcus bill.
Elba Esther Gordillo, 68, leader of the 1.5 million member National Union of Education Workers, was arrested late Tuesday afternoon as she landed at the Toluca airport near Mexico City on a private flight from San Diego.
Upon arrival in Mexico capital, she asked to see a doctor then was taken in a caravan of Federal Police and Marine vehicles to Santa Martha Acatitla prison, Televisa reported.
The fall of one of the country most storied and divisive characters unthinkable just months ago comes with the return to power of Mexico Institutional Revolutionary Party, which previously ruled for 71 years and once helped Gordillo consolidate her rolex watches for sale power. She was arrested one day after President Enrique Pena Nieto signed into law a comprehensive education reform designed to dismantle a system she controlled.
Union members had been marching in the streets against the reform in recent weeks, and the fiery Gordillo, who r rolex watches for sale ose from school teacher to a maker of presidents, vowed to keep fighting.
want to die with the epitaph: Here lies a warrior. She died like a warrior, Gordillo said in a speech on her 68th birthday earlier this month. plastic surgery bills and the purchase of a million dollar home in San Diego.
are looking at a case in which the funds of education workers have been illegally misused, for the benefit of several people, among them Elba Esther Gordillo, Murillo said.
Gordillo displayed her opulence openly with designer clothes and bags, bodyguards, expensive cars and properties including a penthouse apartment in Mexico City exclusive Polanco neighborhood. She has been widely lampooned for her many plastic surgeries and depicted in political cartoons as ghoulish. Meanwhile, Mexico teachers are poorly paid and public education has long been considered sub par. Gallardo and Diaz were arrested with Gordillo, Castillo told Televisa.
Some funds eventually ended up in bank accounts in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Castillo said that in one case they transferred $1 million to a Swiss account for a company owned by Gordillo mother. Those funds were then used to buy a million dollar house in the island of Coronado in San Diego.
In a television interview last week about education reform, the interviewer told Gordillo that she was the most hated woman in Mexico.
is no one more loved by their people than I, Gordillo answered. care about the teachers. This is a deep and serious dispute about public education. reform creates a system of uniform standards for teacher hiring and promotion based on merit instead of union connections. It also allows for the first census of Mexico education system, which Gordillo union has largely controlled for decades, allegedly padding the payroll with thousands of phantom teachers.
So great is the union control that no one knows exactly how many schools, teachers or students exist in Mexico.
For years, she has beaten back attacks from union dissidents, political foes and journalists who have seen her as a symbol of Mexico corrupt, old style politics. Rivals have accused her of corruption, misuse of union funds and even a murder, but prosecutors who investigated never brought a charge against her.
She was expelled from Pena Nieto Institutional Revolutionary Party in 2006 for supporting other parties candidates and the formation of her own New Alliance party. Her support was considered key in giving a razor thin victory to former President Felipe Calderon.
Columnist and political analyst Raymundo Riva Palacio said Gordillo is an experienced political fighter who may have lost the keen sense of political calculation that kept her in power for so many years.
lost clarity, Riva Palacio said. so much to lose on the issue on which they finally got her, the money, she calculated badly. arrest recalled the 1989 arrest of another once feared union boss, Joaquin Hernandez Galicia, known as Quina. The longtime head of Mexico powerful oil workers union, Hernandez Galicia was arrested during the first months of the new administration of then President Carlos Salinas.
In 1988, he criticized Salinas presidential candidacy and threatened an oil workers strike if Salinas privatized any part of the government oil monopoly, Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex. On Jan. 10, 1989, about a month after Salinas took office soldiers used a bazooka to blow down the door of Hernandez home in the Gulf Coast city of Ciudad Madero. He was freed from pr rolex watches for sale ison after Salinas left office.