The 10 most…

The 10 Most Corrupt Mexicans * Les 10 Mexicains les plus corrompus

Alarming levels of corruption in government, the judiciary and law-enforcement, earned Mexico the 2013 title of one of the two most corrupt countries in Latin America, according to the Global Corruption Barometer released in July by Transparency International, an anti-corruption nonprofit group. Mexico shares its rank with Argentina.

In the group’s Global Corruption Barometer of 2013, Mexico’s political parties, police, legislature and judiciary were perceived as the most corrupt, with 91%, 90%, 83% and 80% negative views on corruption.  The report, which is based on a survey of  114,000 people in 107 countries, offers a warning that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world. In  Mexico corruption cases are rarely prosecuted.

A serious drag on Mexico’s development and a significant obstacle to Mexico achieving a functional democracy, corruption has long been a part of the country’s political culture. Carlos Hank González, the deceased founder of the powerful Grupo Atlacomulco,which masterminded Enrique Peña Nieto’s run for president, once said: “A politician that is poor is a poor politician.” For many Mexican politicians, his motto became the Bible.

The following is a list of the 10 Mexicans perceived to be among the  most corrupt in 2013. I appreciate the input received from colleagues and academics during the process of compiling this list.    

Elba Esther Gordillo Former teacher’s union leader known as La Maestra (the Teacher) was charged in February with embezzling $200 million from union funds to pay for her lavish lifestyle. She is notorious for her $5,000 Hermes bags and expensive plastic surgeries in California clinics. Three residences connected to Gordillo have been identified in California. The main one, where the now jailed teacher spent most of her time, is a $4.7 million house on a cul-de-sac in Coronado Cays that features a private dock with a boat and jet ski.

Carlos Romero Deschamps is the powerful Pemex workers union leader and one of the most notorious PRI members long suspected of influence-peddling for personal enrichment. Paulina Romero, his daughter, displays on Facebook her travels around the world in private jets –accompanied by her three English bulldogs Keiko, Boli andMorgancita–  her voyages on yachts, dining in first class restaurants and sporting $12,000 Hermes luxury bags. Her brother drives a $2 million limited edition red Enzo Ferrari sport car, a gift from their father, whose trade union monthly salary is $1,864. Romero Deschamps, a federal senator, is reported to have a “cottage” in Cancun with a value close to $1.5 million. According to political analyst Denise Dresser, in 2011 he received $21.6 million for “aid to the union executive committee” and $15.3 million from union dues. My “hands are clean,” Romero Deschamps claims. The Peña Nieto administration seems to agree. He is not under investigation.



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