Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Honest graft

Compared to what, you ask?
Hilario Ramírez Villanueva ...stood up before 50 residents at an electoral event. These men and women were bored with the previous speaker, the former mayor. But now they were listening to Ramírez utter a sentence that would make its way into the footnotes of Mexican history books. He stood on stage and, with a microphone in hand, said: “They have criticized me because I really like money. Who doesn’t? [They also say] that I stole from the mayor’s office. Well, yes, I did steal from it. I stole from it, I stole from it, I stole from it but – just a little – because it was pretty poor. It was nothing more than a little shaving off.”
Meet the new Mayor.

Maybe because he was telling the truth; he's a comparative saint in Mexico;
... Elba Esther “La Maestra” Gordillo, the leader of the powerful national teacher’s union. She served time in prison in 2013 for misappropriating $200 million. The arrest of this woman, a compulsive shopper who could buy 10 pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes or diamonds worth $350,000 from Tiffany’s in one go, was seen as a warning signal from President Enrique Peña Nieto.
Mexico being notable for its low average level of education.
The most notable figures who have fallen have been the governors because of the power the Mexican federal system entrusts in their offices. And, among them, Tomás Yarrington shines like a black pearl. The former governor of Tamaulipas state on the Mexican-American border, who ran for president on the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) ticket, became a fugitive from the law after the United States ordered his capture for bank fraud, money laundering, accepting bribes from the Gulf Cartel, and even cocaine trafficking. While on the run, the elegant Yarrington opened a Facebook page where he insists on his innocence and declares himself a victim of political persecution.
The neighboring state of Coahuila has also seen its governor flee. Jorge Torres, a PRI member, is wanted for money laundering. The face of this once-powerful figure is now posted on the website of the US’s Drug Enforcement Administration, next to the sour faces of a motley crew of fugitives. The reward, it says, is negotiable.

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