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27 February 2013

Mexico arrests Elba Esther Gordillo, powerful teachers union boss, on corruption charges

In a curious turn of history, Gordillo’s arrest harkened back to the early days of Salinas de Gortari’s owned presidency. Seeking to boost his popular support, Salinas ordered the arrest in early 1989 of Mexico’s then most powerful labor leader, Joaquin Hernandez Galicia, who headed the oil workers union.

Whether it’s a “curious turn” or just, as some are likely to say, Salinas pulling the strings in the Peña Nieto cabinet, this is going to have major consequences.
This is friggin’ huge.  There were some constitutional reforms in education which limited the teachers’ union (one that everyone loves to hate) and removes a power broker who had broken with the PRI… and perhaps gives cover to de-legimitizing both public service unions and public education in general.  The Salinas faction within PRI (Peña Nieto’s group) has been sniffing around for ways to push for more privatization (and allow the Church back into the Ed Biz) and this may just be a step in the process.  Not that anyone is gonna cry if Elba Esther goes to the slammer (which I doubt she will).
Full article by Tim Johnson (McClatchy News) here.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Allen G permalink
    27 February 2013 8:11 am

    This made, as they say, äll the papers”. Great foto of Ms Gordillo on the BBC website.
    Now, the question is, how great the repercussions?

  2. Jaruthgy Grym permalink
    27 February 2013 9:02 am

    Great news for Mexico!!! She was an embarrassment with her flagrant use of power to rob the country of its future, taking funds for educating the youth to support her lavish lifestyle and those that helped her. Hope justice prevails and she and her partners in crime are put away for a long time. A big big victory for President Peña.

  3. 27 February 2013 10:20 am

    This news is a mixed bag. One on hand, eliminating corruption is a good thing and demanding accountability is something that maybe doesn’t happen enough anywhere, not just Mexico. (Look at Wall Street and the continuing banking scandals for examples of utter impunity).

    On the other hand, a continued, neo-liberal (or is it neo-conservative? – political labels have become twisty straws) attack on unions, whether public employee or private workers, is a sad situation and in the news around the world.

    Any system in which only one side holds all the power is a dangerous and exploitative system. As the global economy is transformed (or damaged) by austerity lords, labor (meaning all people who work for a living, rather than the rent-income class) is being drained of power and voice. If that continues, exploitation will only increase.

    The arrest of Elba Ester will undoubtedly result in the usual joking, mocking, disparaging of corruption. But in the larger picture, is this an attack on labor overall?

    Corruption clean-up is one thing. Eliminating the political power of your rival factions is quite another.


  1. Corrupt head of Mexican teachers union accused of corruption « Mercury Rising 鳯女

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